Having lost four straight, Arizona Football (3-6, 1-5) returns to action with a tough showdown against No. 9 UCLA (8-1, 5-1) in Pasadena.
Coming off a tough loss to No. 12 Utah, Arizona Football resumes Pac-12 play by returning to action against the very skilled and talented No. 9 UCLA Bruins.
Heading up Pasadena, the Wildcats will have a marquee matchup against the Bruins, and once again the Wildcats should have yet another difficult challenge on their hands.
Coming in, the Bruins should be riding high having won two straight which include dominant wins over Stanford (38-13), and Arizona State (50-36). UCLA’s only loss was a 45-30 barn-burner against the Oregon Ducks in Eugene just three weeks.
As Arizona enters this one as double-digit underdogs this week, the belief is that the Wildcats will struggle. However, perhaps the Wildcats can shock the world and score the upset here. If that is to happen, it is going to take one hell of an effort as well as a bit of luck!
Getting to Know the details about Arizona Football’s opponent, the UCLA Bruins.
Team: UCLA Bruins
Conference: Pac-12 Conference
Current Record: 8–1 (5–1)
Head Coach: Chip Kelly enters his 5th season as head coach at UCLA where he is currently 8–1, and has the Bruins sitting near the top of the Pac-12 South standings.
After taking over for Jim Mora in 2018, Kelly has slowly built the Bruins into a consistent winner and overall he has a 26–26 (21–19) record.
And before UCLA, Kelly coached in the NFL from 2013–16 compiling a 28–35 record with the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers.
However, Kelly deserves a ton of credit for his remarkable run with the Oregon Ducks from 2009–12 where he compiled a 46–7 (33–3) record with four bowl appearances including a National Title runner-up in 2010. Overall, he is 72–33 as a college football head coach.
2021 Record: Finishing the 2021 season with a respectable, 8–4 (6–3) record, the Bruins ended their year with back-to-back wins over rival USC and Cal. The Bruins did clinch a Holiday Bowl berth, but unfortunately, their game against No. 18 NC State was canceled due to Covid.
Key Returners / Starters:
Running more of a Spread offense with an emphasis on running the football downhill, this is a skilled and talented group that can score points and move the football in a hurry, look no further than their 40.8 points per game and 508.4 yards per game average.
Led by quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, the dual-threat senior brings a lot of fire-power to the Bruins. Through nine games, DRT has passed for 2140 yards and 19 touchdowns to just four interceptions on 180 of 251 pass attempts. And beyond his stellar arm, DRT is a skilled runner as he is currently second on the team in rushing with 439 yards and seven touchdowns on 73 attempts.
Spreading the field, DRT likes to get the ball in the hands of his offensive weapons which include running back Zach Charbonnet and talented receivers Jake Bobo, Kam Brown, and Logan Loya among others.
Behind DRT is a monstrous backfield. Together, the Bruins use several different backs; however, it is Charbonnet that has gotten most of the work with 964 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns on 128 carries. However, Keegan Jones and Kazmeir Allen have been great options for the Bruins out of the backfield as well.
Running more of a 4-2-5 defense, the Bruins do, however, love to give several looks on defense under defensive coordinator Bill McGovern.
This group is predicated on using its skill and talent, and overall, the Bruins play with a ton of toughness and physicality. UCLA likes to put seven or eight guys in the box, and so far, they are playing well in 2022.
Holding opponents to 372.4 yards per game, the Bruins are also holding opponents to just 25.6 points per game.
Largely led by several of its playmakers, the Bruins get significant contributions from defensive back Mo Osling III, as well as linebackers Darius Muasau, Laiatu Latu, and JonJon Vaughns among several others.
Up front, UCLA has tremendous size and talent, and this is an aggressive group that is holding opponents to 124.4 yards rushing per game, and has an impressive 22.0 sacks through nine games.
Defensive linemen Greyson Murphy, Carl Jones, and Gary Smith III are a big reason for that. Overall, they should challenge Arizona’s offensive line.
However, the secondary is where perhaps UCLA may struggle the most. Overall, opponents are surrendering 248.0 yards passing and an average of 1.8 touchdowns per game. The Bruins are also allowing opposing teams a 64.7 completion percentage.
Largely led by defensive backs Osling III, Stephan Blaylock, and Jaylin Davies, the Bruins should challenge Arizona’s receivers a bit.
Jayden de Laura and the Wildcat offense will have to make smart choices with the football this week, especially if Arizona hopes to keep peace with the Bruins’ high-flying offense.
Game information and details for Arizona Football:
When: Saturday, November 12th, 2022
Time: 8:30 PM MST / 7:30 PM PST
Where: Rose Bowl Stadium – Pasadena, CA (90,888)
Overall Series Record: 17-27-2 UCLA. Having met several times in their collective history, this is a series that UCLA has controlled, especially recently, as the Bruins have won the last two-straight meetings, including eight of the last 10. Arizona’s last win against the Bruins came in 2019 when the Wildcats narrowly beat UCLA at home by a 20-17 final.
Last Meeting vs. Arizona: Last year in Tucson, the Wildcats battled and competed against the Bruins, but unfortunately they came up short as Arizona lost 34-16.
My Prediction: UCLA 51 Arizona 30 – Overall, I think Arizona will struggle mightily in this one. Granted, I think a lot will depend on whether Zach Charbonnet will be healthy for the Bruins; however, to me, it won’t matter too much as UCLA’s high-powered offense will still run all over the Wildcats en route to the convincing win.