USA Today

Game Week: UCLA vs. Arizona Facts and Factors

Sept. 22 -- No. 9 UCLA heads to No. 16 Arizona this week for the conference opener for both teams, and the game will be featured on College GameDay...

• UCLA travels to the desert for its Pac-12 opener, taking on Arizona Saturday at 5:22 PT, with the game being televised by ABC.

• UCLA is 3-0 and ranked #9 AP/#11 Coaches Poll.

• Arizona is also 3-0, and ranked #16 in both polls.

• College GameDay, the nation's premier pre-game college football show, will be televised live from the University of Arizona on Saturday on ESPN. Arizona last hosted College GameDay in 2009 when Oregon came to town. This is one of only two games between ranked opponents on Saturday, with the other being another Pac-12 matchup in No. 13 Oregon against No. 18 Utah.

• It’s the 30th all-time meeting between the two schools on the football field, with UCLA holding the edge, 22-15-2. Arizona owns an 11-9 advantage in games played in Arizona, winning four the last five in Tucson. UCLA did, though, win the last time the two met in Tucson in 2013, 31-26.

• Last year in the Rose Bowl, the Bruins beat the Wildcats in an unexpected defensive struggle, winning 17-7.

• UCLA has won the previous four matchups in which both teams were ranked in the AP Poll (2014, 2012, 1998 and 1993).

• With the win over UNLV, UCLA set a school record with its 11th-straight win in games played away from the Rose Bowl. The had won 10 straight away games in 1997-1998. UCLA hasn’t lost a road game since Oct. 26th, 2013, when it fell to the then #2-ranked Oregon Ducks.

• In his four years at UCLA, Jim Mora has started off each season 3-0. It’s the first time in history that UCLA has won its first three games in four consecutive seasons.

Photo by Steve Cheng

• Paul Perkins needs 7 rushing yards to enter the top ten list of UCLA’s all-time leading rushers. He also is now one of 20 Bruins with over 3,000 career all-purpose yards, with 3,162 career yards after the big performance over BYU.

• UCLA’s last rally from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter was in 2005 – when the Bruins did it four times, against Washington, Cal, Washington State and Stanford.

• Jake Brendel is on his way to becoming the Bruin with the most career starts. He currently has 42, and #1 on the list is Spencer Havner, the linebacker from 2002-2005, with 48.

• Arizona is the only school from the original Pac-10 to never have participated in a Rose Bowl. Last year, had the Rose Bowl not been one of the playoff bowls, Arizona would likely have ended that streak. Since the Rose Bowl was a playoff bowl, Arizona was relegated to the Fiesta Bowl. The next closest Arizona came was probably 2009, when the Wildcats lost a heartbreaking game to Oregon 44-41 in overtime that, if they'd won, would have given them a Rose Bowl bid.

• Rich Rodriquez (52) is in his fourth season at Arizona as its head man. The season he posted last year, 10-4 and winning Pac-12 South Championship, was the best season results for the Wildcats since 1998, when they had the best season ever in their history (12-1, final ranking of #4). Rodriguez’s record of 29-14 gives him the second-highest winning percentage for an Arizona coach in the last 70 years (only Jim Young, who coached from 1973 to 1976 was marginally better with a 31-13 record). Rodriguez is one of a few pioneers of the spread option offense and, depending on who you ask, either invented the zone read or was one of its earliest adopters. Rodriguez had unprecedented success at West Virginia in his first head coaching position (again, he's the second-winningest coach in the last 80 or so years there) and then parlayed that into a gig at Michigan that didn't go as well. He's since found a home at Arizona, where he has made the Wildcats one of the more dangerous offenses in the Pac-12.

• If Arizona were to win on Saturday, it would be the 150th win in Rodriguez's career as a head coach. 

• UCLA head coach Jim Mora is 3-0 against Rich Rodriguez and Arizona, and two of those victories have been of the dominant variety. The first win, in 2012, was a 66-10 blowout which saw UCLA shut down Arizona's offense completely while also scoring at will. Last year, UCLA again shut down Arizona's offense, limiting the Wildcats, which had come into the game having scored at least 26 points in every game, to just seven points en route to a 17-7 victory.

• The other win in the series, in 2013 in Tucson, was probably one of the most exciting wins for UCLA under Jim Mora. With a flailing running game, Mora and company turned to then-freshman linebacker Myles Jack to provide a spark on offense. And spark the offense Jack did, running for 120 yards on just six carries, including one astounding 66-yard touchdown. That was also the closest game of the series, with UCLA winning 31-26.

• UCLA is favored by four points.

• The weather forecast calls for highs of 95 degrees in Tucson on Saturday, and it'll probably be in the high 80s or low 90s at game time. There's some monsoon-like weather in Arizona this week, so be prepared for some humidity.

Bruin Report Online Top Stories