It’s been 732 days since the Arizona Wildcats last tasted victory, with the team mired in a 16-game losing streak.
The Wildcats will look to snap the college football program’s longest losing streak in Tucson on Saturday night, when the 3-2 UCLA Bruins come to town.
Arizona and UCLA kick off from Arizona Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Arizona time, with ESPN carrying the contest live nationally.
The Wildcats are more than two-touchdown underdogs to the Bruins in Arizona sports betting.
Arizona Faces Long Odds Against Bruins
There’s little belief among Arizona sportsbooks in the Wildcats chances of snapping their historic streak of futility against the Bruins.
Arizona’s Checkered History Against UCLA
Arizona’s had little success against UCLA in the last decade, winning two of the team’s last nine showdowns with the Bruins dating back to 2012.
The Wildcats fell to the Bruins, 27-10, in last year’s COVID-shortened Pac-12 regular season, with Arizona’s last win in the series coming at home in 2019.
That contest, which Arizona won 20-17, saw the Wildcats win after UCLA kicker JJ Molson missed a field goal in the game’s waning seconds.
The Wildcats also beat the Bruins in Tucson in 2017, 47-30, in a victory that snapped UCLA’s five-game winning streak in the series.
Jordan McCloud’s 1st Home Start
Saturday’s rematch comes after Arizona’s bye week, which followed a 41-19 defeat at the hands of the Oregon Ducks in Eugene.
Arizona will look to right the ship on Saturday night, with South Florida transfer QB Jordan McCloud getting his second straight start for the Wildcats.
The sophomore QB showed flashes of promise against the Ducks, completing 60% of his passes for 233 yards and a touchdown.
He also showed his inexperience at the position, chucking five interceptions in the Wildcats’ 22-point loss in the Willamette Valley.
McCloud will look to return to the form he showed at USF, where he threw for more than 2,700 yards and 21 touchdowns (to 10 interceptions) in two seasons.
If McCloud can spread out the Bruins’ defense with his legs the way he did against Oregon, whom he gained 64 rushing yards against, then the Wildcats have a shot against UCLA on Saturday.
Stopping Dorian Thompson-Robinson
Perhaps the year’s biggest breakout star for UCLA this season has been senior QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
Thompson-Robinson has thrown for 1,154 yards and 10 touchdowns in five starts, while only tossing a single interception on 121 attempts for UCLA.
The senior has also gained 214 yards and two scores on the ground, giving Chip Kelly a dual threat QB to lean on as the Bruins look for their first winning season since 2015.
Thompson-Robinson looked sharp in UCLA’s 42-23 loss to ASU on Saturday, throwing for 235 yards and running for 96 more in the loss.
He and Kelly will look to get back on the right track, while Jedd Fisch’s team looks to find its way into the win column for the first time in 24 months on Saturday night.