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Arizona vs. UCLA Preview: No Foles, No Problem

Posted By Henry Childs On Oct 28 2010 @ 3:58 am In Arizona | No Comments

Back in the top-15, Arizona travels to the Rose Bowl on Saturday to play the UCLA Bruins.

The Bruins, although with three wins, including a road victory over then seventh ranked Texas, are not very good. I had the opportunity to witness UCLA play Oregon last Thursday, and to put it nicely, it was a beat down. The first couple of drives for the Bruins were okay, as they were able to run down the throat of the Ducks defense with Johnathan Franklin and Derrick Coleman. But the UCLA offense is one-dimensional. There is no risk of a passing attack, either with Kevin Prince or with Richard Brehaut at quarterback.

Arizona, meanwhile, is hardly one-dimensional. I criticized the Wildcats earlier this season for relying too much on the pass, and not committing to the running attack with two capable running back in Keola Antolin and Nic Grigsby. However, against Washington last week, quarterback Matt Scott was able to pass with great efficiency, while keeping the Huskies defense honest and running for a reasonable amount of yards as well. That allowed Antolin and Grigsby to combine for 164 yards and two touchdowns each.

The UCLA defense is a mystery. They’ve played great (Houston, Texas), and they’ve played awful (Stanford, Oregon). They have a couple of great individual defenders in Akeem Ayers and Raheem Moore, but other than that, they are young and inexperienced all over the place. If Arizona can consistently run the football to keep UCLA’s defense on their toes, whoever is at quarterback, Scott or Foles, will have success in the secondary.

Speaking of Foles, he’s questionable as of now on whether he’ll be playing. But whether it’s him or Scott, both should have success against a defense that has individual playmakers, but lacks the discipline to be a good unit as a team.

My prediction: Arizona wins 31-17. UCLA will keep it close in the first half, but Arizona is too talented on offense and defense to lose to the one-dimensional Bruins. I don’t think Foles plays, but Matt Scott has proven that he can be a valuable backup when needed.

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