Arizona: Facts and Factors

The Arizona Wildcats come to the Rose Bowl coming off a huge win over USC, and some controversy about its quarterback's physical condition...

• The Arizona Wildcats come to the Rose Bowl this Saturday to take on the Bruins at 7:37 p.m. The game will be televised by the Pac-12 Network with Ted Robinson and former Wildcat offensive lineman Glenn Parker in the booth and former UCLA linebacker Ryan Nece on the sidelines.

• Arizona is 5-3 overall and 2-3 in conference, and is ranked this week at 22nd in the BCS, 24th in AP.

• UCLA is 6-2 and 3-2, and ranked 25th in the AP.

• Arizona vaulted into the rankings after, of course, it's big come-from-behind win last week over USC, 39-36. The Wildcats are the only three-loss team in either the BCS or AP rankings.

• Arizona's schedule has been a pretty difficult one. It faced then-#18-ranked Oklahoma State in non-conference, and won (59-38). It then started off Pac-12 play by playing #3 Oregon (L, 49-0), #18 Oregon State (L, 38-35) and #18 Stanford (L, 54-48 OT). It trounced Washington (52-17) and then beat USC.

• The all-time series between UCLA and Arizona goes back to 1927, with UCLA owning an advantage of 19-15-2. UCLA and Arizona played each other in 1927 (an Arizona win, 16-13) and 1928 (tie, 7-7), but then didn't play each other for the next 43 years until 1971. Arizona joined the Pac-10 until 1978.

• Last year, in Tucson, the Wildcats beat up on the Bruins, 48-12. In 2010, in the Rose Bowl, UCLA also lost to Arizona, 29-21. That game was significant since it was kind of the coming-out party for Arizona quarterback Matt Scott, a game in which he connected on 24 of 36 passes for 319 yards, his first 300-yard passing game.

• Arizona has, actually, beaten UCLA five straight, and six of the last seven, with the Bruins last beating the Wildcats in 2006.

• In the last 15 years, UCLA is 7-8 against Arizona, which makes the Wildcats UCLA's third toughest conference opponent in that time period, after USC and Oregon. UCLA is also 3-3 against Arizona at the Rose Bowl during that time.

• This is the first time since 1998 UCLA and Arizona are both ranked when playing against each other. #3-ranked UCLA beat #10-ranked Arizona that year, 52-28 in Tucson.

• Arizona is coached by first-year man Rich Rodriguez. Overall, he is in his 18th year as a head coach, with an overall record of 125-87-2,. Rodriguez gained notoriety when he built the West Virginia program from 2001 to 2007, and then took the Michigan head coaching job in 2008. He never clicked at Michigan, his spread option offense never capturing the popular imagination in Ann Arbor, and was fired after just three less-than-successful seasons. There was quite a bit of controversy swirling around Rodriguez at the time, with criticism coming from Michigan players, and then the NCAA citing five major recruiting violations at Michigan under his tenure, the first time the Michigan program had ever been accused of major NCAA violations. Rodriguez, then, worked as an analyst for CBS Sports in 2011 before being hired by Arizona to succeed the departing Mike Stoops. Rodriguez is known as one of the pioneers of the no-huddle spread option. He is also considered one of the originators of the zone read option.

• The six FBS opponents Arizona has played in 2012 have a combined record of 43-12.

• Arizona has scored 50+ points three times this year, the most in a single season since 1954.

• Arizona receiver Austin Hill's 259 receiving yards last week against USC was the second-most in UA single-game history.

• Winning its sixth game of the season last week against Arizona State makes UCLA bowl eligible, which is the first time since 2005 it achieved that feat in the month of October.

• UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin is 21 yards away from setting UCLA's all-time career rushing record. He stands at 3,711 yards, trailing just Gaston Green (1984-87) and his 3,731. Franklin has collected 1,042 yards so far in 2012, and is on pace to set the UCLA all-time single season rushing record, currently held by Karim Adbul-Jabbar (1,571).

• Arizona's quarterback Matt Scott and UCLA's quarterback Brett Hundley are 1-2 in total offense in the Pac-12, with Scott averaging 386 yards per game and Hundley 307.

• Hundley's family are Wildcat people, with his father, Brett Hundley, Sr., having played for the Wildcats as a defense back in 1982-86.

• Hundley has thrown for 2,190 yards so far this season, averaging 274 yards passing per game, and is on pace to break UCLA's all-time season passing record, currently held by Cade McNown (1998, 3,470). If he does overtake McNown in that stat, Hundley will also set the all-time UCLA record for total offense in a season, also set by McNown in 1998 (3,652). Hundley has already run for more yards (267) than McNown did that season (182).

• There has been some controversy concerning Matt Scott's physical condition in the aftermath of last week's USC game. In that fourth quarter, Scott, while sliding, took a shot to the head by USC's T.J. McDonald (a play that was flagged by the referees as a personal foul). Scott looked shaken up and then vomited on the field right after the play, a symptom of a concussion. Scott then continued to play for a series before the Arizona coaches removed him from the game. Since then, in the media, Scott has said he "doesn't think" he had a concussion, but blamed the vomiting on fatigue and heat-related issues. At the center of the controversy is whether Arizona's coaching staff took the proper precautions after Scott suffered the hit. Rodriguez and Arizona have claimed Scott didn't suffer a concussion, and had been nauseous prior to the play. As of now, Arizona has indicated that Scott will play against UCLA this Saturday.

• The weather forecast calls for a high of 86° and a low of 58°, with the game-time temperature in the 60s.


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