ESPN's College GameDay travels to Tucson, Arizona, for Week 4 of the NCAA football season as the Arizona Wildcats prepare to host the UCLA Bruins in a marquee Top 25 matchup.
The AP No. 16 Wildcats have put up incredible offensive numbers over their first three games, albeit against facile competition. Arizona is coming off a 77-13 romp over Northern Arizona, ballooning the Wildcats' average point total to 54, which is tied for third in the country.
UCLA is ninth in the AP poll but narrowly escaped an upset against BYU 24-23 last week. Now the Bruins have to travel to a hostile environment for what's going to be a huge Pac-12 South division showdown.
Check out the basic information for College GameDay coverage below, followed by a preview and prediction for the featured game, which is slated for 8 p.m. ET and will be aired on ABC.
ESPN College GameDay Week 4 Info
Date: Saturday, Sept. 26
Time: 9 a.m.-12 p.m. ET
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Live Stream: WatchESPN
UCLA vs. Arizona Preview, Prediction
Despite the fact that Bruins true freshman quarterback Josh Rosen threw three interceptions versus BYU, UCLA is favored by 3.5 points, according to Odds Shark listings as of Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET.
The line ought to move in light of news that broke Wednesday of star linebacker Myles Jack's season-ending injury. ESPN Stats & Info highlighted how short-handed the Bruins now are on the defensive side of the ball:
This couldn't have come at a much worse time for UCLA. Rosen is going to have to grow up quickly and overcome his turnover-plagued performance to produce points in order for the Bruins to hang tough in this contest.
At least UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone cut his precocious signal-caller some slack.
"That was the first defense that showed him, multiple, multiple looks," said Mazzone, per ESPN.com's Ivan Maisel. "I didn't even know what it was half the time."
A big positive from UCLA's close call was how strong its rushing attack was. That is Arizona's primary strength, but Bruins running back Paul Perkins racked up 219 yards on the ground and the winning touchdown against BYU.
ESPN.com's Chris Low has high praise for Perkins, which is merited considering the junior's steady production:
Especially on the road, though, ball security will be paramount for UCLA—and Rosen has to remain composed.
Rosen's counterpart, Anu Solomon, has thrown 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions thus far in 2015. Solomon isn't the most lethal dual-threat QB, but his backup Jerrard Randall has six carries for 209 yards and three touchdowns. RB Nick Wilson has also run for 434 yards and five scores already.
The following number from ESPN.com's Ted Miller shows how the sophomore Solomon is improving, whereas Rosen threw two red-zone interceptions in his last outing:
Solomon's ability to execute in the scoring area will force UCLA to respect the pass even without much field to work with.
But Saturday's clash is the Wildcats' first true test. Given how short-handed UCLA's defense is and how fired up the home fans ought to be, one has to fancy coach Rich Rodriguez's side to light up the scoreboard and vault into the College Football Playoff picture.
There is also a vengeance factor of sorts in play for Arizona after losing to the Bruins 17-7 on the road last season.
Although Rosen is bound to play better and show why he's starting at just 18 years old, the Wildcats' running game will prove to be too much for UCLA to overcome at Arizona Stadium. The Bruins just yielded 149 yards rushing to BYU's Adam Hine and will be hard-pressed to stop Arizona's multitude of capable ball-carriers sans Jack.
Prediction: Arizona 35, UCLA 21