The Pac-12 South race will become a bit clearer Saturday night, as two of the many contenders square off when UCLA hosts Arizona.
The Bruins opened the season with three close victories over teams they were expected to handle easily (Virginia, Texas and Memphis), before living up to lofty preseason expectations with a 62-27 blowout win at Arizona State. Things haven't gone too well for UCLA since then -- it dropped two in a row to Utah and Oregon, and beat Cal and Colorado by a combined five points over the past two weeks.
If not for a two-point loss to USC, Arizona would stand undefeated right now. The Wildcats have been one of the best teams in the Pac-12, but have just a win over Oregon to show for it. Their next most impressive victory? Probably a four-point win over Cal. This is the first of three opportunities for the Wildcats to prove themselves to the committee, followed by a pair of tough games to end the season against Utah and Arizona State.
How to watch, listen, and stream
Game time: 10:30 p.m. ET.
Online streaming: WatchESPN.
Rankings and records: Arizona is ranked No. 12 in the Playoff rankings, No. 14 in the AP Poll and No. 15 in the Coaches Poll. UCLA is ranked No. 22 in the Playoff rankings and No. 25 in both the AP and Coaches Polls. The Wildcats are 6-1, ranking second in the Pac-12 South with a 3-1 conference record. The Bruins are 6-2, ranking fifth in the division with a 3-2 record in Pac-12 play. UCLA holds a 21-15-2 lead in the all-time series.
Weather forecast: A high of 66 degrees and a low of 50 degrees with a partly cloudy night.
Two things at stake
Arizona needs to win out to stay in playoff contention.
Considering its preseason expectations, the fans might just riot if UCLA loses another big game.
One big matchup
Arizona running backs vs. UCLA linebackers. The duo of freshman Nick Wilson and senior Terris Jones-Grigsby has combined for 998 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns this season, averaging 5.9 yards per carry. The pair are the head of what UCLA head coach Jim Mora has called a "quadruple threat" offense of the Wildcats.
That running game has eased the pressure off quarterback Anu Solomon, but they'll have a tougher task against a very good UCLA linebacking corps. Senior Eric Kendricks leads the team with 93 tackles, while sophomore Myles Jack -- an absolute cannon in the backfield as well -- is in second place with 61.