Arizona Facts and Factors

The season is heating up with UCLA traveling to Arizona this weekend. The Wildcats want payback for last year's trouncing by the Bruins, and the winner of Saturday's game stays relevant in the Pac-12 South Championship race...

• UCLA travels to Tucson to take on the Arizona Wildcats Saturday at 7:00 p.m. PST. The game will be telecast by ESPN, with commentators Joe Tessitore, Matt Millen and Maria Taylor calling the action.

• UCLA is 6-2 (3-2 in the Pac-12) and ranked 16th in the country.

• Arizona has an identical record of 6-2 and 3-2 but is unranked.

• UCLA leads the all-time series 20-15-2, which goes back to 1927. Arizona won five in a row before UCLA beat the Wildcats last year in the Rose Bowl, 66-10.

• The Bruins haven't won in Tucson in a decade, not since the 2003 season (24-21). In fact, UCLA was on a streak in Arizona before that, winning four in row, with the last loss previously coming in 1996.

• UCLA has certainly had some demoralizing defeats in the Tucson desert. In 2005, the 8-0 Bruins, ranked 7th in the country, lost to the Wildcats, 52-14. In 2011, UCLA lost in Tucson, 48-12. In 1992, the 11th-ranked Bruins lost to the unranked Wildcats in Tucson, 20-3. In 1989, 22nd-ranked UCLA lost to un-ranked Arizona, 42-7.

• In fact, a ranked UCLA team has only won in Tucson once in the last 25 years, in 1998 (52-28).

• Arizona is led by head coach Rich Rodriguez, in his second year in Tucson, with a record at Arizona of 14-7. Rodriguez is considered a pretty intense guy, and has had some controversy follow him through his career. His departure from West Virginia for Michigan in 2007 was awkward, at best, and then, at Michigan, he recorded the worst season record in school history (3-9) and was never really accepted. Several players left the program and criticized Rodriguez, and then in 2010, the NCAA levied sanctions at Michigan for the skirting of NCAA rules by Rodriguez's program. Rodriguez had a tumultuous three years in Ann Arbor, and was let go in 2011. He worked as a TV analyst for most of the 2011 season, and then was hired by Arizona in November of 2011. Last year, in his first season, Rodriguez led the Wildcats to an 8-5 record and a win over Nevada in the New Mexico Bowl. He's known for his spread option offense.

• With both teams being 3-2 in conference, whoever wins this game would get a significant boost toward competing for the Pac-12 South title. Arizona State currently sits atop the Pac-12 standings at 4-1, so the loser of UCLA/Arizona would fall two games behind ASU, and be unable to win a tie-breaker against the other. Both UCLA and Arizona still have yet to play ASU, so the winner of this weekend's match-up could control its own destiny with a win over ASU. One thing, however: Arizona still has to play Oregon, which you'd have to chalk up in the loss column, so a loss this weekend against UCLA would almost certainly mean 4 losses in the Pac-12 for the Wildcats and no chance at the Pac-12 South title.

• Last year's trouncing by the Bruins included Johnathan Franklin setting UCLA's all-time career rushing record, and UCLA totaling 611 yards of offense.

• Arizona's star running back, Ka'Deem Carey, said on the Petros and Money radio show that Arizona remembers the 2012 whipping and it's ready for payback. It was the last game that Carey, who leads the nation in rushing (153 yards per game) didn't rush for 100 yards.

• The father of UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley is former Wildcat running back Brett Hundley Sr., who lettered in 1986.

• UCLA went 5-0 against the Pac-12 South last season, and it's off to a 2-0 season so far in 2013 (with wins over Utah and Colorado). Arizona, ASU and USC are the Pac-12 South teams that remain on UCLA's schedule.

• Jim Mora is 6-4 on the road at UCLA, and 4-4 in Pac-12 road games.

• UCLA is 12-3 under Mora when scoring first, and 13-0 when leading at half.

• UCLA has set a record for most true freshmen (18) playing in a season. There has also been 15 redshirt freshmen that have seen action.

• UCLA matched its school record total of seven true freshmen position starters against Colorado – the record that it set against Oregon the previous week. If you count punter Sean Covington it would be eight true freshmen starting the last two games. The starting lineup the last two weeks has also included seven sophomores.

• UCLA is now bowl eligible with 6 wins on the season.

• It's the first time UCLA has opened a season ranked and remained ranked through the first 10 rankings since the 2001 season.

• The Bruins are favored by 1.

• The weather in Tucson for Saturday calls for a high of 82 degrees, and it should be in the mid-60s at the 7:00 p.m. game time.

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