Nobody likes calling a game "must-win," especially in the first third of the season.
However, in this case, it's kind of the case. If Arizona loses, Mike Stoops can all but kiss his U of A career goodbye.
There's no way he survives another September of going 2-2 against mediocre competition. Nor should he. At some point, you have to out-coach people in the first half of the season.
UCLA is not a good team. The Bruins don't have a ton of talent to begin with but have a completely depleted roster right now, as many of their starters and best players are injured.
Perhaps what's most scary about a loss is that Arizona doesn't just lose one game, it goes on losing streaks. This is a bad time to go on a losing streak because this is by far the easiest stretch of the U of A's schedule.
Arizona tends to play its best football in the second half of the season under Stoops, but the team doesn't even need to play that well to beat schools such as New Mexico, UCLA, Stanford and Washington.
These are teams that Arizona should beat by just showing up and playing hard.
Arizona didn't play hard against New Mexico and we saw what happened. If the Wildcats try that again, they'll lose at the Rose Bowl yet again, which definitely seems to be happening a lot on recent years.
The U of A – and most certainly Stoops – needs this win to keep real hopes of an immediate future in football alive
Not gonna say must win, but…
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