5 Bold Predictions For Arizona vs. UCLA

By Matt Heinz

5 Bold Predictions For Arizona vs. UCLA

UCLA Rose Bowl
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Before the season many thought this game would be a guarenteed win for UCLA. Heading into Halloween weekend, that is clearly not the case anymore. Arizona is ranked No. 12 and UCLA is No. 22, but UCLA has looked terrible in all of their wins aside from their beat-down in Tempe over Arizona State. Here are five bold predictions for Arizona vs. UCLA.

5. Huge Rose Bowl Crowd Will Not Affect The WIldcats

Arizona is undefeated on the road this season, and that can be attributed to the mentality head coach Rich Rodriguez has instilled in his players. When asked about being booed on the road, Rodriguez said: "any time you get them to boo or say stuff to you, you should get a smile on your face instead of making it worry you, because that means they at least think you’re important — important enough to boo you.” The Rose Bowl might be an enormous stadium, but the crowd noise is rarely a factor that helps UCLA and it certainly won't affect Arizona.

4. Anu Solomon Will Attempt More Than 50 Passes

Rich Rodriguez has only had Solomon attempt more than 50 passes twice this year, but both times he did, he passed the 70 attempt mark. Yes, I said 70. Against Cal Solomon threw it 73 times, and against USC he chucked it 72 times. Both of those teams run up-tempo offenses and therefore allowed for more offensive plays. History will repeat itself against the up-tempo offense of UCLA. The counterpoint to this theory is that against Oregon's fast-paced offense, Arizona only threw it 31 times, but that was because the Wildcats had the lead much of the game. Also, due to Oregon's talent superiority, Arizona needed to slow the game down. The Ducks also run the ball much better than the teams mentioned above. Solomon will throw it and throw it often on Saturday.

3. Anu Solomon Will Enter The Heisman Race After Beating Another Quality Opponent On The Road

Anu Solomon is hands-down the newcomer of the year in the Pac 12 this season. Coming out of Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas (currently the No. 1 ranked high school team in the nation), Solomon was a huge recruit. In 2014, he has taken the league by storm. Many were calling the 2014 Pac 12 season "the year of the quarterback", but few were calling it that because of Solomon. All the redshirt freshman has done is throw 20 touchdowns with only four interceptions. Amazingly, he is completing 63 percent of his passes and is running his offense similar to how Pat White ran Rich Rod's offense at West Virginia. After knocking off UCLA and looking impressive doing so, Solomon will finally get some serious Heisman consideration.

2. Season Will Continue To Spiral Out of Control For UCLA Bruins After Unrealistic Preseason Expectations

Against Oregon, UCLA head coach Jim Mora and defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich got into a heated altercation on the sideline where Ulbrich handed Mora his defensive call sheet as if to say here, you call the defense. For a team with such high expectations, their season is fading fast with two losses already. Many analysts, including Lee Corso and Desmond Howard, irresponsibly predicted UCLA to win the National Championship in 2014 in August. Going from the Sun Bowl last year to the National Title is like going from dating Martha Stewart to Kate Upton. It's just too big of an upgrade. When your head coach is a defensive coach and doesn't even call the defense for the nation's 89th-ranked scoring defense, things are going very poorly.

1. Arizona's Special Season Continues As Wildcats Will Beat UCLA 45-35

Outside of Mississippi, Rich Rodriguez has arguably done the best job of any coach in the country in 2014. Very few people outside of Tucson predicted the Wildcats to be 6-1 thus far. They are also a missed field goal from being ranked No. 3 in the country, but to counter that point, Arizona is also a Hail Mary away from being 5-2. UCLA, on the other hand, has no structure on defense, despite numerous future NFL players on that side of the ball. The offensive line continues to be atrocious for the third year in a row, leaving Brett Hundley to do all the work on his own on most plays. Arizona 45, UCLA 35.

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