The Arizona Wildcats Win Against UCLA Is Huge For The Program

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The Arizona Wildcats Win Against UCLA Is Huge For The Program


The Arizona Wildcats Win Against UCLA Is Huge For The Program


On a relatively cool evening in Pasadena, the Arizona Wildcats scored a huge victory for a program. At the Rose Bowl, the Cats beat PAC-12 rival UCLA 34-28 in front of a relatively sparse crowd of nearly 45,000 fans. The win keeps postseason aspirations alive and it electrified a great fan base while at the same time, providing a building block for a team who has been rebuilding for a while now.

Quarterback Jayden de Laura had a big night, throwing for 315 yards on 22 of 28 for 315 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran in from three-yards out during the second quarter to give the Wildcats a 21-14 halftime lead. It was a clean and efficient stat line for de Laura as he avoided any turnovers against the Bruins. The sophomore is having the kind of season that gives the Wildcats hope not just for a bowl game, but for next year, and possibly a senior year. The Arizona quarterback is averaging 340.1 passing yards with 18 touchdowns and a 64.7% completion rate in his last seven games.

For UCLA, the loss is a blow to a conference title game. At 8-2 and 5-2 in the PAC-12, they already are behind USC (7-1), Oregon (6-1), and Utah (6-1). 

Saturday night, Bruins running back Zach Charbonnet rushed for 181 yards and three touchdowns in the loss, while quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson was 26 of 40 for 245 yards and a touchdown. Thompson-Robinson had three passes miss their target after UCLA drove the ball to the Arizona 29. All three were incomplete including a wide open Jake Bobo in the Bruins endzone.   

Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch has done a tremendous job with a reclamation project that is finally beginning to show tangible signs of life. In his first season, they finished 1-11. It was a year where winning was secondary to establishing a different culture and structure that would begin the process of lifting the program from the bottom of the conference. With four wins under their belt and a shot at running the table in their last two, everything is on the table. With a home game against Washington State (3-4, 6-4 overall), and a very winnable game at Arizona Stadium in two weeks against ASU (2-5, 3-7 overall) the season feels beyond just “good”. 


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