6 Key Games On Arizona Football’s 2015 Schedule

By Alex Drude

6 Key Games On Arizona Football’s 2015 Schedule

Arizona Wildcats head coach Rich Rodriguez talks with his players in the huddle in the first quarter against the Boise State Broncos in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl at Phoenix Stadium.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats' 2015 schedule doesn’t include the Oregon Ducks. Since the Wildcats beat Oregon in the regular season, that might actually be disappointing to UA fans, but the Pac-12 South is stacked, and the road to repeating as divisional champ is filled with potential landmines. Here are six important games on Arizona’s 2015 schedule.

6. Saturday, September 26 vs. UCLA

UCLA Bruins wide receiver Jordan Payton (9) runs for a touchdown after making a catch during the third quarter as Arizona Wildcats cornerback Cam Denson (3) gives chase at Rose Bowl.
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

6. Saturday, September 26 vs. UCLA

UCLA Bruins wide receiver Jordan Payton (9) runs for a touchdown after making a catch during the third quarter as Arizona Wildcats cornerback Cam Denson (3) gives chase at Rose Bowl.
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA was the only team during the regular season to truly humble the Wildcats. Arizona scored on the opening drive against the Bruins and never got in the end zone again. Every Pac-12 South game is key, but this one already feels like it has more urgency attached to it.

5. Saturday, October 3 at Stanford

Stanford Cardinal tight end Levine Toilolo (11) runs with the ball after making a catch against the Arizona Wildcats in the second quarter at Stanford Stadium.
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

5. Saturday, October 3 at Stanford

Stanford Cardinal tight end Levine Toilolo (11) runs with the ball after making a catch against the Arizona Wildcats in the second quarter at Stanford Stadium.
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Stanford is not an easy place to play. Just ask the Bruins, who only needed to beat a reasonably mediocre Cardinal team in Palo Alto on the last day of the season to win the division. Instead, Stanford smoked UCLA and allowed Arizona to take the South.

4. Saturday, October 31 at Washington

Arizona Wildcats place kicker Casey Skowron (41) attempts a field goal as a timeout is called by the Washington Huskies during the last seconds of the fourth quarter at Arizona Stadium. Arizona won 27-26
Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

4. Saturday, October 31 at Washington

Arizona Wildcats place kicker Casey Skowron (41) attempts a field goal as a timeout is called by the Washington Huskies during the last seconds of the fourth quarter at Arizona Stadium. Arizona won 27-26
Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

If the Huskies are to take a step forward in the race for conference supremacy, it means beating the defending division champions. The Huskies haven’t beaten Oregon in more than a decade, but Arizona won in 2014 on a last-second field goal. This one’s in Seattle, and the Wildcats had better be ready for some tricks on Halloween.

3. Saturday, November 7 at USC

Arizona Wildcats running back Jared Baker (23) scores a touchdown against the Southern California Trojans at Arizona Stadium.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

3. Saturday, November 7 at USC

Arizona Wildcats running back Jared Baker (23) scores a touchdown against the Southern California Trojans at Arizona Stadium.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In 2014, the Trojans beat UA in Tucson on a missed field goal. It was Arizona’s first loss of the year after a tremendous start. Entering 2015, both teams have visions of the CFB playoff dancing in their heads. If the squads play to their potential, this might be the game of the year.

2. Saturday, November 15 vs. Utah

Arizona Wildcats running back Nick Wilson (28) avoids the tackle of Utah Utes defensive end Nate Orchard (8) during the first half at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

2. Saturday, November 15 vs. Utah

Arizona Wildcats running back Nick Wilson (28) avoids the tackle of Utah Utes defensive end Nate Orchard (8) during the first half at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

After facing UW and USC in consecutive weeks, next up is an improved Utah team waiting to swoop up the division should any of the front-runners fail. That this game is in Tucson and not Utah helps the Wildcats' cause, but will not be easy.

1. Saturday, November 21 at Arizona State

Arizona Wildcats offensive lineman Mickey Baucus (68) hoists the territorial cup in celebration after beating the Arizona State Sun Devils 42-35 at Arizona Stadium
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

1. Saturday, November 21 at Arizona State

Arizona Wildcats offensive lineman Mickey Baucus (68) hoists the territorial cup in celebration after beating the Arizona State Sun Devils 42-35 at Arizona Stadium
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, UA destroyed ASU’s New Year’s Six hopes with a resounding victory in the Territorial Cup. This game could once again decide the division. That the game is in Tempe and not Arizona’s home turf already puts the Wildcats at a disadvantage. A great season might be hanging in the balance come kickoff time for both teams. Four straight weeks of four straight big games that will determine Arizona’s postseason destination.

Alex Drude is a Pac-12 writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alex_Drude. “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google+.

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