Ten days after the dismissal of Mike Stoops, Tim Kish makes his debut as the interim head coach of the 1-5 Arizona Wildcats in a nationally-televised home game against the 3-3 UCLA Bruins on Thursday night.
Kish has coached UA's linebackers the last eight seasons, spending the last two as the school's co-defensive coordinator. The Wildcats dismissed Stoops following the team's fifth straight loss, a skid that is largely due to a defense that ranks last in the Pac-12 in run defense, total defense and scoring defense. The Wildcats rank 11th in the Pac-12 in pass defense.
The need to consistently put up points to match their opponents has helped the Wildcats rank 3rd in the nation in passing offense, with senior quarterback Nick Foles completing 71.5 percent of 281 pass attempts for 2,255 yards and 15 touchdowns this season. Foles spreads the ball around, with receivers Juron Criner, Dan Buckner, David Roberts, David Douglas and Gino Crump each catching over 25 passes this season.
UCLA was off last week and will be looking to improve to 3-1 in the Pac-12 this season. The Bruins are balanced offensively, averaging 198 passing yard and 195 rushing yards per game. The ground game is powered by Johna Franklin (509 yards) and Derric Coleman (330 yards), with Coleman accounting for six of the team's 13 rushing touchdowns.
Game date, time: 9:02pm ET, Thursday, October 20, 2011
Location: Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Arizona
TV channel: ESPN
Spread: Wildcats are favored by three points
Series history: Bruins lead, 19-14-2
For further reading, news, discussion and more, visit Arizona blog Arizona Desert Swarm and UCLA blog Bruins Nation. Here’s this week’s college football TV schedule, and stay tuned to SB Nation’s college football news hub for more.
George O'Leary and the 3-3 Central Florida Knights travel to Birmingham to face the UAB Blazers in a Conference USA battle on Thursday night. The Knights are 4-0 in Birmingham against the Blazers, who are off to an 0-6 start on the 2011 season.
The Knights got off to a hot start in 2011, winning their first two games, including a 30-3 blowout win over the Boston College Eagles. The Knights have since lost three of four, including a 38-17 loss last week to Southern Methodist. Sophomore quarterback Jeff Godfrey had career-high 23 completions and 32 attempts last week for 231 yards and leads the Knights with eight rushing touchdowns on the season.
UAB senior quarterback Bryan Ellis returned to action last week, passing for 280 yards and a pair of touchdowns to redshirt freshman Jamarcus Nelson. Touchdowns have been a rarity for the Blazers, who have just eight through six games.
Game date, time: 8pm ET, Thursday, October 20, 2011
Location: Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama
TV channel: CSS / UCF IMG Sports Network
Spread: Knights are favored by 16 points
Series history: Knights lead the all-time series, 7-1