|1977 Arizona Wildcats football|
|Conference||Western Athletic Conference|
|1977 record||5–7 (3–4 WAC)|
|Home stadium||Arizona Stadium|
|1977 Western Athletic Conference football standings|
|No. 20 BYU +||6||–||1||–||0||9||–||2||–||0|
|No. 18 Arizona State +||6||–||1||–||0||9||–||3||–||0|
Rankings from AP Poll
The 1977 Arizona Wildcats football team represented the University of Arizona in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) during the 1977 NCAA Division I football season. In their first season under head coach Tony Mason, the Wildcats compiled a 5–7 record (3–4 against WAC opponents), finished in fifth place in the WAC, and outscored their opponents, 256 to 250. The team played its home games in Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Arizona. This was Arizona’s (and rival Arizona State’s) final season as members of the WAC and joined the Pac-8 Conference, which became the Pac-10, in the following season.
Mason replaced Jim Young, who left for Purdue after the 1976 season ended.
The team's statistical leaders included Marc Lunsford with 1,344 passing yards, Derriak Anderson with 568 rushing yards, and Harry Holt with 423 receiving yards. Linebacker Corky Ingraham led the team with 153 total tackles.
Arizona concluded the 1976 season with a record of 5–6 (3–4 in WAC). Young accepted the head coaching position at Purdue afterwards, and Mason was chosen to be his successor. Mason, who coached at Cincinnati, came to Arizona to rebuild the program and promised to return the team to its winning ways.
|September 10||at Auburn*||L 10–21|
|September 17||San Diego State*||L 14–21|
|September 24||at Iowa*||W 41–7|
|October 1||at Wyoming||L 12–13|
|October 8||Texas Tech*||L 26–32|
|October 22||Utah||W 45–17|
|October 29||at BYU||L 14–34|
|November 5||Colorado State||L 14–35|
|November 12||New Mexico||W 15–13|
|November 19||at UTEP||W 41–24|
|November 26||at Arizona State||L 7–23|
|December 3||at Hawaii*||W 17–10|
|1977 Arizona Wildcats football team roster|
For the second year in a row, Arizona opened the season against Auburn. It was also their first visit to an SEC team’s home stadium. In Mason’s first game as Arizona coach, the Wildcats started slow and never recovered as the Tigers got the victory. As of 2021, both Arizona and Auburn have not played each other since.
Arizona traveled to Iowa to take on the Hawkeyes. The Wildcats got their offense going and Mason captured his first win as Wildcat coach.
The Wildcats faced New Mexico in their home finale. Arizona’s offense struggled at times but was able to get past the Lobos and the Kit Carson Rifle returned back to Tucson for the first time since 1974. This turned out to be Mason’s only meeting against New Mexico. It was also the last meeting between the Wildcats and Lobos until 1987 (due to Arizona leaving the WAC).
In Mason’s debut against Arizona State, the Wildcats were unable to overcome Arizona State and its home crowd and lost to the Sun Devils for the third straight year. This was the final WAC game played by the two teams.
The Wildcats played a twelfth game of the season due to non-conference scheduling. They traveled to Hawaii in their season finale. Both Arizona and Hawaii’s defense shut down the offense and led to a low-scoring game. In the end, the Wildcats came out victorious. Coincidentally, Hawaii was coached by Dick Tomey, a future Arizona coach who would have a successful tenure with the Wildcats.