Notebook: Arizona vs. UCLA

Arizona was impressive in its victory over UCLA on Thursday night. Read on for a closer look at the Wildcats' win.

In the first game of the post Mike Stoops era, Arizona jumped out to a huge first half lead and coasted the rest of the way as the Wildcats pounded UCLA 48-12. In easily its best team performance of the year, UA was able to move the ball at will while preventing the Bruins from getting anything going on the offensive side of the ball.

Arizona came out with more fire in this contest than its previous six and were able to put UCLA away relatively early in the contest. The victory ends a 10-game losing streak to FBS opponents and keeps the Wildcats slim bowl hopes alive.

  • It was a big day for quarterback Nick Foles, who had little trouble with the UCLA defense. The senior quarterback finished the evening 26-for-39 with 291 yards and three touchdowns before exiting the game in the second half with a huge lead. Foles was locked in and made it look easy against a UCLA defense that had no answer for the Wildcats offensive attack.

  • Receiver Juron Criner was on the receiving end of several big throws by Foles. The senior wideout finished with 10 receptions, 101 yards and three touchdowns in what was his best game of the season. Criner was virtually unstoppable as he had has way with the Bruins' secondary and his play was a big reason UA was able to go ahead by a wide margin early.

  • Wideout Gino Crump had his best game as a Wildcat. The senior finished the evening with nine catches for 103 yards and provided Foles with a target to rely on outside of Juron Criner. Crump's play drew some of the focus away from Criner and helped open up the field for Foles.

  • Arizona gained a total of 254 yards on the ground, easily its best output as a team on the season. It was a collective effort as UA had five running backs with six carries or more.

  • Keola Antolin set the tone for the running backs. The senior carried the ball eight times for 77 yards and helped take some of the pressure off of the passing game early in the contest.

  • Running back Ka'Deem Carey showed flashes of excellence in his performance. The true freshman carried the ball nine times for 67 yards – including an 18-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

  • Fullback Taimi Tutogi was effective as a power rusher. The junior carried the ball seven times for 32 yards and two touchdowns.

  • Running backs Daniel Jenkins and Kylan Butler received their fair share of looks also. Jenkins carried the ball 10 times for 43 yards while Butler finished with six carries and 29 yards on the ground.

  • UCLA came into Thursday night's affair with the second ranked rushing offense in the Pac-12, averaging 194.5 yards per game on the ground as a team. The Wildcats stopped the Bruins' rushing attack dead in its tracks, holding UCLA to 38 yards on the ground as a team. Running back Johnathan Franklin – the conference's sixth leading rusher coming in with 509 yards on the ground – was held in check with 11 yards on six carries. Derrick Coleman gained a mere 13 yards on five carries. Quarterback Kevin Prince led UCLA with 14 rushing yards.

  • UA's defense harassed Kevin Prince throughout the evening. The Bruins' signal-caller completed less than 50 percent of his pass attempts (17-for-35) for 268 yards – a large portion of those yards coming when the game was out of reach.

  • The win gives Arizona a fighting chance at bowl eligibility. The Wildcats must find a way to come up with wins in four of their last five games to be considered, but given the way the team came out and responded to adversity on Thursday, it certainly isn't out of the realm of possibility.

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