It’s gut-check time for Arizona Football in Week 4 against UCLA

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 15: Kyle Philips #2 of the UCLA Bruins celebrates his touchdown during the second quarter against the California Golden Bears at the Rose Bowl on November 15, 2020 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 15: Kyle Philips #2 of the UCLA Bruins celebrates his touchdown during the second quarter against the California Golden Bears at the Rose Bowl on November 15, 2020 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /

After dropping their ninth-straight game, Arizona Football (0-2, 0-2) is in desperate need of a win to get out of this funk, but can the Wildcats beat the UCLA Bruins (1-2, 1-2)?

Somebody, please make it stop! After a program worst, nine-straight losses, Arizona Football is looking for some kind of break. But can they get one when they take on the UCLA Bruins this weekend? Well, that is contingent on which Arizona team decides to show up.

Following their season-opening loss to the USC Trojans, there was hope. For a program that had been plagued by porous play and was overmatched in numerous games the year prior, a heartbreaking 34-30 loss almost seems like a win to a program in desperate need of progress.

Arizona Wildcats
Arizona Wildcats /

Arizona Wildcats

Well, that momentum and progress seems to have since been negated as the Wildcats fell big to the Washington Huskies last weekend, losing 44-27.

Arizona did show some fight in the fourth quarter of that loss, albeit against back-ups, but perhaps that is the little bit of confidence they need to get things back on track in an abbreviated, pandemic-plagued 2020 season.

Luckily for Arizona this week, it is that they take on UCLA. The Bruins are a beatable team, and the Cats are coming off a 2019 win over UCLA. However, nothing is given this year, and this season is more of a learning year anyway.

Nonetheless, if Arizona is to win on Saturday, the team that played against USC is going to have to show up!

Know Thy Foe:

Team: UCLA Bruins (1-2, 1-2)

Conference: Pac-12 Conference

2019 Record: The Bruins finished 4-8 (4-5) in 2019, and despite going 0-fer in their out of conference schedule, they were at least able to find some moderate success throughout the year in the Pac-12. However, coming into 2020, the pressure is on to perform.

Head Coach: Chip Kelly was once one of the hottest coaches in college football, but oh how the mighty have fallen as Kelly enters his third season in Pasadena, owning just a mediocre 8-19 record thus far.

He has the talent, his system certainly worked at Oregon, but why isn’t it working with the Bruins? I don’t know, but perhaps he is finally turning things around.

Key Returners/ Starters: A lot will be contingent on whether quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson will be available this weekend. The junior signal-caller is off to a hot start in 2020 thus far, but unfortunately, DRT was unavailable last week. If he’s good to go, that is bad news for the Cats.

At running back, they have two very capable runners in Demetric Felton and Brittain Brown, that’s also not factoring in DRT who is a very mobile quarterback and is always a threat to make that big play at any spot on the field.

Arizona’s secondary was abused this past weekend, and once again they will have a major challenge on their hands as they look to slow down talented receivers Greg Dulcich and Kyle Phillips.

Defensively, the Bruins aren’t a stout group by any means, however, they do still have plenty of talent, and given Arizona’s challenges to keep Grant Gunnell vertical the past two games, the Bruins are going to pose some challenges.

First off, they do a good job at getting to the quarterback, totaling 10 sacks through the first three games. And so far they have mostly been led by play-making defensive back Stephan Blaylock, along with Osa Odighizuwa, Caleb Johnson, Qwuantrezz Knight, and Mitchell Agude.

Key Injuries: 


  • DE – Myles Jackson (Patella) – Myles is out indefinitely after suffering a patella injury.
  • QB – Dorian Thompson-Robinson (quarantine) – DTR is questionable
  • DB – Quentin Lake (quarantine)- Questionable
  • WR – Jaylen Erwin (quarantine) – Questionable
  • WR – Michael Ezeike (Undisclosed) – He is still doubtful.
  • RB – Martell Irby (Knee) – He is is doubtful as he recovers from a knee injury.


  • LB – Jabar Triplett (Achilles) – The freshman is out for the season after suffering from a surgically repaired Achilles this off-season.
  • RB – Frank Brown (Knee) – MCL Injury, he is questionable.
  • WR – Jaden Mitchell (Knee) – ACL Tear. Out for the season
  • S – Christian Young (Undisclosed) – Out for the season.

Game Information: 

When: Saturday, November 28th, 2020

Time: 5:00 PM (PST)/6:00 PM (MST – Arizona Time)

Watch: Fox

Where: Rose Bowl Stadium – Pasadena, CA (92,542… 0,000)

Spread: +10.5 Arizona

Overall Series Record: 25-17-2 UCLA. Arizona saw some decent success in the late 2000s, early 2010s, but lately, it has been the Bruins dominating this series, winning six of the last eight match-ups.

Last Meeting vs. Arizona: Arizona came away with the 20-17 win over UCLA in Tucson last year. Grant threw for 352 yards and a touchdown in his first collegiate start.

My Prediction: Last week was a bad week for Arizona Football. As I stated earlier, there are two ways that this can go, either Arizona responds and plays a competitive game, or their confidence is rattled severely from that loss to UW, and the team comes out flat yet again.

I think Arizona does have a chance to win this one as UCLA is beatable. However, with the issues we saw in coverage on defense, and the offense not being able to sustain drives early on, and their struggles along the offensive line, those aren’t things you can necessarily correct quickly. It’s even worse in a pandemic-plagued season that can change the course of a game throughout the week rather quickly.

With that said, if DTR is playing, the Bruins are going to be too much in the end, and the Wildcats lose their 10th-straight game. UCLA 37 Arizona 31.

Prediction record so far: 2-0

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At Zona Zealots, we’re just hoping the Cats can turn this around and start playing with some confidence again. As always, Bear Down Arizona and Beat the Bruins!