The Arizona Wildcats and UCLA Bruins are scheduled to meet at the historic Rose Bowl on Saturday night for an intriguing Pac-12 matchup. Intriguing in the sense that this one should shake out to be a pretty entertaining game. Not intriguing in the sense that this game has any impact on the College Football Playoff.
The Pac-12 has removed themselves from the picture completely. The late start in the season didn’t help, but mediocre to poor play didn’t either. Oregon losing last night to their rival, Oregon State, pretty well evaporated any chance of the Pac-12 having a team in the CFP. It was a long shot to begin with, but it’s a solid lock now.
The Beavers erased a deficit in the fourth quarter to complete the comeback for a 41-38 win. Oregon State outscored the Ducks, 22-7, in the final frame for an impressive win at home. It was only their second win for the Beavers over the Ducks in the last decade. Oregon looked ripe for an upset all season, and were finally bitten in the game formerly known as the Civil War.
It’s going to be tough to beat what Oregon and Oregon State did for entertainment purposes, but Arizona and UCLA should be a pretty good game. Arizona goes into California with a record of 0-2. They’re winless with losses against USC, 34-30, and Washington, 44-27. Not too much of a surprise given their leaky defense.
They held strong against a decent USC team, and then had to score 27 points in the fourth quarter to avoid an embarrassing final score versus Washington. Washington closed the door on Arizona for three straight quarters. The Wildcats didn’t have a point up on the board before the fourth quarter. Grant Gunnell was able to pad his stats for three touchdowns.
I thought Gunnell would have a breakout campaign in 2020, but with Arizona playing a super short schedule, it’s tough to assess him fairly. He certainly hasn’t done anything to believe that he’s a bad quarterback through two games, though. They are in California looking for an upset over UCLA.
The Bruins are coming off a strong effort in a 38-35 loss against Oregon last week with their backup quarterback. This was following a 34-10 win over Cal a week earlier. Head below for our free Arizona vs. UCLA pick for November 28, 2020.
Arizona Wildcats vs. UCLA Bruins Pac-12 Football Betting Odds:
Arizona vs. UCLA Prediction:
Without Dorian-Thompson Robinson in the lineup last week against Oregon, Demetric Felton went wild on the ground for 167 yards and 2 touchdowns on 4.9 yards per carry. Felton is likely in for a big day again versus a beatable Arizona defense on Saturday. He’s gained 331 yards and 3 touchdowns on 4.8 yards per carry through two games.
The status of DTR is up in the air for Saturday, but expect Felton to have another big game regardless. Arizona has conceded 203 yards per game on the ground in their two losses. Richard Newton of the Washington Huskies gashed the Wildcats for 81 yards and 2 touchdowns on 10.1 yards per carry last week.
Chase Griffin had a tough assignment in his first ever collegiate start. He was pressed into action against a fairly decent Oregon defense and did okay. Griffin passed for 195 yards with a touchdown and 2 interceptions. Those were a couple of big mistakes for Griffin, and might have been the difference in the final score. In any case, if Griffin gets the nod, he will likely be in better form against a much softer defense on Saturday.
DTR playing would certainly give the Bruins a nice boost, though. He’s passed for 7 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, while rushing for 161 yards and 2 touchdowns on 7.7 yards per carry. His presence on the field would put a lot of pressure on Arizona to stop two dangerous weapons. The option would work to perfection with Felton in the backfield. Their defense will be asked to hold strong against a capable arm in Grant Gunnell.
Like I noted, Gunnell was set for a big breakout campaign in 2020 if it wasn’t for Covid-19. As a freshman in 2019, Gunnell passed for 9 touchdowns and 1 interception on 65.2% completions. Despite the shortened season, he’s made the most of it so far.
Gunnell has connected for 6 touchdowns and 1 interception on 68% completions. Note that Gunnell is only a sophomore and has a bright future ahead of him. Expect Gunnell to keep this game from getting away from the Wildcats. There should be plenty of points up on the board to put this game OVER the total.