Media day photo of UA linebacker Jake Fischer

Benjie Sanders/Arizona Daily Star

Middle linebackers are angry by nature. As defensive leaders, they make their careers by rocking quarterbacks and throttling rushers, seeking and destroying.

Even by linebacker standards, UA senior Jake Fischer is ticked.

The Ironwood Ridge High School product still takes the missteps of last season personally. Arizona ranked 118th out of 120 FBS teams in total defense last season, giving up 499 yards per game.

It still eats at the linebacker.

“We can’t wait for this season. You go through camp, and we were just kind of pissed the entire camp. The coaches bring it up the whole time; we were 100th or whatever in defense. It’s been in the back of our mind, eating at us. We don’t want to forget about it; we want to learn from it. You use it as extra motivation, bulletin board material.

“I’ve seen numerous articles with the stats. We use it as motivation when we come out to practice. We don’t want to be anything remotely near that (again). We want to be the best defense we can possibly be, and I think we’ll be OK this year.

“We’re deeper, more talented, and I think we know what to expect now from our coaches, from how we practice to how we have to prepare. Our coaches do a great job. Also, it’s one more year we have under Coach (Jeff) Casteel. It’s a huge difference. We’ve added a few more wrinkles. We have a few more coverages. We have more blitzes. We know how to adjust on the fly. Come the game, there’s not going to be that craziness on the sideline like last year when guys didn’t know what was going on.”

Contact reporter Daniel Berk at or 573-4330. On Twitter @DSBerk.