Arizona Football Today: UCLA | News

Arizona Football Today: UCLA


TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) – UCLA has a chance to bounce back from its second loss of the season against a team that hasn’t won since 2019.

An easy victory to come? The Bruins can’t see it that way.

Arizona may be on a record losing streak, but the Wildcats have proven they can hang on with anyone, as they showed against Oregon two weeks ago.

“I think (Oregon) underestimated them a little bit,” UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson said this week. “They kind of chased them in the second half and that made it a bit tight. We have to learn from their mistakes.”

The Bruins (3-2, 1-1 Pac-12) just suffered a frustrating 42-23 home loss to Arizona State that knocked them out of the Top 25 AP and placed the Sun Devils at No.22.

UCLA appeared to be in control with a solid first half, but fell short on a fourth and a deep 1 at the end of Arizona State and ended up failing to score in the second half.

The defense has also been hit by many explosive plays, including four passes from at least 47 yards.

Now the Bruins face an Arizona team on Saturday that still haven’t won under first-year coach Jedd Fisch, but showed signs of revitalization against Oregon on September 25.

The Wildcats (0-4, 0-1) trailed 24-7 early in the second quarter, but rallied to come close to four late in the third quarter. Although Oregon won 41-19, bringing the Wildcats’ losing streak to 16 games, there were enough signs the Wildcats believed they were getting close to victory.






The Wildcats are 13-10 at home against the Bruins (Photo courtesy: MGN)


SLOW DTR

Arizona’s top defense priority will be containing Thompson-Robinson.

The 6-foot-1 senior is second in the country with 16.03 yards per completion and threw for 1,154 yards and 10 touchdowns with an interception. He’s also one of the most mobile quarterbacks in the conference, keeping games alive with his legs while adding 296 yards and three rushing touchdowns.

AT THE TURN OF MCCLOUD

After a season of quarter turns, Jordan McCloud started against Oregon and Fisch named him the rest of the season if he stays in good health.

McCloud, a transfer from South Florida, had the most experience in quarterback competition, but Gunner Cruz started the first two games and Will Plummer started the third.

McCloud led Arizona on a late touchdown after replacing Plummer against northern Arizona and totaled 297 yards and one touchdown against Oregon.

He’s also had five interceptions against the Ducks, but Fisch enjoys his composure and experience, especially now that he has a better understanding of offense.

“He had just the right balance to keep fighting,” Fisch said after the game against Oregon. “He’s never been afraid to start football. I’m sure he’s very upset right now. And I hate it for him, but these things happen, and we’re going to grow and improve, but that’s our best player at that position and that’s why we played him.

NUMBERS

UCLA wide receiver Kyle Philips has caught touchdowns in four straight games – six in total – the longest streak for the Bruins since Jordan Lasley had four in a row in 2017.… Arizona became the first team of the country with two safety goals when Mo Diallo sacked Anthony Brown in the third quarter in Oregon. … The Bruins have edged their opponents in 11 straight games, the longest streak since they did in 15 straight games in 1984-85. … The Wildcats have converted seven of 10 fourth down attempts.

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