Early-season football games against NAU have often identified an emerging Arizona star. In 2004, true freshman cornerback Antoine Cason made 13 tackles and intercepted a pass against the Lumberjacks in his first-ever college game. He went on to be a consensus All-American.

In 2007, junior Mike Thomas was electric in his season home debut, running four end-around plays for 80 yards against NAU, and catching five passes for 56 yards and a TD. He went on to become the Pac-12’s career receiving leader.

On Friday, true freshman linebacker Scooby Wright started and made six tackles. He also blocked a pass that was returned for a touchdown by Tra’Mayne Bondurant. At a position of great need, Wright certainly passes the eye test.

Arizona yielded a school-record worst 499 yards per game a year ago, a defense that Rich Rodriguez last week described by saying “it was bad. … bad defense.”

On Friday, Scooby was good. So was Arizona’s defense, which yielded just 270 yards.

At a school still known for the Desert Swarm, has the Scooby Doo era begun?