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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


3 ways to win, 3 ways to lose: Arizona vs UCLA

Rebecca Marie Sasnett
Rebecca Marie Sasnett / The Daily Wildcat during Arizona’s 49-45 win against Cal at Arizona Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014.

3 ways to win

by James Kelley

Solomon shines

Another week, another chance for UA redshirt freshman quarterback Anu Solomon to best another Pac-12 Conference gunslinger.

Last week, Solomon threw for 294 and five touchdowns to out-duel Washington State senior quarterback Connor Halliday, the nation’s leading passer. Halliday had 489 yards, but threw 41 more passes and two interceptions, while Solomon had none.

In Arizona’s last road game against a ranked team, then-No. 2 Oregon, he passed for 287 yards on 31 attempts, while Oregon’s quarterback Marcus Mariota had 276 yards on 32 attempts.

Solomon is fifth in the country in passing yards per game (347.1) and total offense per game (374.4).

Scooby dooby does

Arizona’s leader on the defense, sophomore linebacker Scooby Wright III, was key in the Wildcats’ win at Oregon and last week against Wazzu.

Arizona is 3-0 on the road this year thanks in no small part to Wright III’s exploits. Last week, he had eight tackles, three forced fumbles and three sacks en route to winning two national defensive player of the week awards.

He leads the nation in forced fumbles with five, including the game-winning strip of Mariota in Eugene, Ore.

Wright III is third in the nation in sacks (nine), third in tackles for loss (14) and 20th in total tackles (78).

Running back show

After freshman running back Nick Wilson missed the USC loss and senior running back Terris Jones-Grigsby missed the second half against the Trojans, it looks like Arizona’s two-headed running back monster is back.

Wilson wasn’t his usual potent self at WSU. He had 10 yards but did rush 18 times after missing time due to an ankle injury. Jones-Grigsby, however, ran for 107 yards on 13 carries after recovering from his concussion.

Arizona is No. 1 in the Pac-12 in total offense with 541.9 yards per game but has slipped to fourth in rushing offense (193.4). Once again, the Wildcats can run the ball down the Bruins’ throats.

3 ways to lose 

by Roberto Payne

Return of the Jack

Myles Jack tore up Arizona last year on both sides of the ball, a feat that rarely happens in his day and age of college football. Jack rushed for 120 yards on offense and recorded eight tackles on defense.

After his versatile freshman season, Jack has primarily played defense this season, recording 62 total tackles with five tackles for loss.

What’s worrying is his relative quietness on offense. It seems like bad things always happen to Arizona when UCLA is on the schedule. Don’t be surprised if Jack comes in for a few short yardage situations and punches in a score.

Hundley strikes back

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley could’ve been the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s NFL Draft. Instead, the Arizona native chose to stay at UCLA and play his redshirt junior season. While his team has struggled, Hundley is playing at a more productive rate this year.

The 6-foot-3 quarterback has thrown for 2056 yards with 14 touchdowns and is second on the Bruins in rushing with 415 yards, good enough for a 51.9 average per game.

After torching Arizona to the tune of 66 yards in 2012, Hundley was ho-hum against the Wildcats in 2013.If Hundley can get back to his 2012 form, Arizona will be in big trouble at the Rose Bowl.

A new hope for UCLA

UCLA was the preseason No. 7 team in the nation and has dropped to No. 25 in the latest AP Poll, leading to a disappointing season so far. The Bruins lost back-to-back home games to Utah and Oregon, effectively dropping them out of the college football playoff battle.

Since then, the Bruins have defeated both California and Colorado by two and three points, respectively. With four games left, UCLA has a great chance to start something against Arizona.

A win over Arizona would likely propel the Bruins into the top 15 of rankings and would give them a chance to make a marquee bowl game, such as the Fiesta Bowl.


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