No. 20 UCLA aims for third straight win against resurgent Arizona
Thu, Nov 2, 2023
NCAAF News (AP)
No. 20 UCLA (6-2, 3-2 Pac-12, No. 19 in CFP) at Arizona (5-3, 2-2), Saturday, 10:45 p.m. p.m. ET (FSI)
Line: UCLA by 3, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: UCLA leads 27-18-2.
WHAT'S AT STAKE?
UCLA looks to win its third straight against an Arizona team coming off consecutive wins over AP Top 25 teams. The Bruins beat Colorado 28-16 after sacking quarterback Shedeur Sanders seven times. UCLA had four first-half turnovers, but scored three touchdowns in the second half. The Wildcats are the end of a brutal stretch of five straight games against ranked opponents. After close losses to No. 5 Washington and No. 24 Southern California, Arizona beat then-No. 19 Washington State and No. 16 Oregon State for its first consecutive wins over ranked opponents since 2014. The Wildcats haven't won three straight games against ranked teams since 1992.
Arizona QB Noah Fifita against UCLA's defense. Fifita has been superb since Jayden de Laura went down with an ankle injury against Stanford on 23. Fifita has thrown for 1,221 yards and eight touchdowns with three interceptions while completing 76% of his passes. Arizona's offense will face perhaps its stiffest test of the season against a UCLA defense that's eighth nationally in points allowed at 15 per game. The Bruins are third in the FBS with 3.88 sacks per game and 10th in total defense, giving up 277.5 yards per game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
UCLA: DT Laiatu Latu. UCLA's 6-foot-5, 265-pound lineman has been a terror for opposing offenses. The mid-season AP All-American is fifth nationally with 1.06 sacks per game and tied for 13th with teammate Gabriel Murphy with 1.5 tackles for loss per game.
Arizona: RB Michael Wiley. Arizona's versatile back had quite an impact last week after missing three games with an ankle injury. Wiley caught two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, finishing with five catches for 58 yards.
FACTS & FIGURES
Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch was UCLA's interim coach for two games after Jim Mora Jr. was fired in 2017. .. Arizona has matched its best record through eight games since 2017. The Wildcats can become bowl eligible for the first time since that season with a win. ... UCLA has held six opponents under 300 yards in a season for the first time since 2006. ... Arizona became the first team to stop Oregon State in the red zone after the Beavers had converted on their first 27 tries this season. ... The Bruins are 12-1 against their last 13 unranked opponents, including 5-0 this season.
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