Aug. 29: UNLV, 7:30 p.m., ESPN — UNLV will be looking for revenge after UA went into Las Vegas last season and romped to a 58-13 victory. The Rebels return six starters on defense and seven on offense, including senior wide receiver Devante Davis, who set a school record with 14 touchdowns in 2013.
Sept. 4: at Texas-San Antonio, 5 p.m., FoxSports1 — Another familiar non-conference foe for UA, which took a 38-13 home win over UTSA last year. This time UA must travel to San Antonio, where the Roadrunners were just 3-3 a season ago. Larry Coker, who led Miami to the 2001 BCS national championship, is in his fourth season as coach at UTSA, which is in its first season of bowl eligibility as a full-fledged member of the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Sept. 13: Nevada, 8 p.m., Pac-12 Arizona — Nevada is being picked as a potential surprise team out of the Mountain West Conference, a year after going 4-8. Dual-threat quarterback Cody Fajardo has compiled almost 10,000 career yards entering his senior season and has a strong offensive line in front of him.
Sept. 20: California, time & TV TBD — UA eases into its conference slate with a home match-up against the Bears, who went 1-11 in 2013. Cal won’t be that bad this year, with coach Sonny Dykes in his second season and quarterback Jared Goff improved after a shaky freshman campaign, but the Wildcats should be able to pick up a victory to open Pac-12 play.
Oct. 2: at Oregon, 7:30 p.m., ESPN — One of the bigger surprises of last year’s college-football season came when UA stunned Oregon 42-16 on Nov. 23. It’s a good bet the Ducks haven’t forgotten that game. They will miss the explosive De’Anthony Thomas but still have quarterback Marcus Mariota, a Heisman Trophy candidate, and always play well in Eugene.
Oct. 11: USC, time & TV TBD — Former Washington coach Steve Sarkisian is now in charge at USC and will look to improve upon the Trojans’ 61st-ranked offense from last season. Junior quarterback Cody Kessler will help with that, though his offensive line is relatively untested. USC was 10-4 in 2013, including a 38-31 win over UA.
Oct. 25: at Washington State, time & TV TBD — This was UA’s most disappointing loss of last season, with the Wildcats falling 24-17 to the Cougars at home. Washington State has a talented crop of wide receivers and could put plenty of points on the board, but its weakness will be its defense — no surprise for a Mike Leach-coached team.
Nov. 1: at UCLA, time & TV TBD — The Bruins have their eyes on big things in 2014 and represent a significant obstacle to UA in the Pac-12 South. Former Chandler star Brett Hundley could challenge Mariota for the title of best quarterback in the conference. And playing in Pasadena is never easy.
Nov. 8: Colorado, time & TV TBD — The Wildcats return home after two games on the road and get a much-needed respite in the form of the Buffaloes, who went 4-8 last season and shouldn’t be much better this year. Colorado does return 16 starters and the most letter-men of any team in the Pac-12, but it has work to do before it can compete in the conference.
Nov. 15: Washington, time & TV TBD — It will be interesting to see how much of a Boise State footprint new coach Chris Petersen puts on the Huskies. After losing quarterback Keith Price and running back Bishop Sankey, the offense probably won’t be the fine-tuned machine he’d like it to be, at least initially, but by the time Washington plays UA, Petersen should have time to sort it out.
Nov. 22: at Utah, time & TV TBD — The Utes have struggled to keep up since joining the Pac-12 in 2011, but they went 5-7 last season and should be improved this year. UA can’t overlook this match-up as it prepares to take on Arizona State the following week.
Nov. 28: Arizona State, 1:30 p.m., Channel 10 — ASU has won both meetings since Todd Graham and Rich Rodriguez took over at their respective schools, so the Wildcats will be eager to stop that trend and get a Territorial Cup victory for their coach. The records to this point won’t matter — this game is always a toss-up.