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Every great team has some kind of metaphorical mountain that they have to climb. For Arizona, it’s not the team up north, not Oregon, not USC, but UCLA. For Arizona to be a great team this year they have to beat UCLA.
The Wildcats haven’t won a game in this series since 2011, which was Mike Stoops’ last season in Tucson. Rich Rod hasn’t beat UCLA since coming to Tucson in 2012, including a 66-10 loss in Pasadena in that same season.
With a returning backfield and having last year’s best defensive player in the nation, the Wildcats may have their best chance to climb the Bruin mountain they haven’t conquered in the past.
Midway through the season last year, Arizona was in the driver seat with five games to play. Then the Cats went to Pasadena and lost to UCLA. Flashback to 1998, the Bruins came to Tucson. With a win Arizona is Pac-10 and smelling roses. UCLA won 52-28.
Now to the present: Arizona has arguably one of the most talented football teams in school history.
Many people have picked UCLA to win the PAC-12 south. UCLA is ranked higher in the polls. So it’s safe to say that Arizona is the underdog, which is something Rich Rod will use to Arizona’s advantage.
The Wildcats under Rodriguez are undefeated at home while playing a top 10 team. The most recent being the slashing of No. 5 Oregon in 2013.
Saturday night Tucson will be rocking. With the entire nation watching, Arizona has a great chance to finally climb Bruin Mountain.
Nick Latta is an accomplished youth golfer from Tucson who follows high school sports and the University of Arizona closely. Currently on the golf team at The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, CA.