Skip to content

Arizona knocks off No. 20 UCLA to win 3 straight against ranked opponents for first time

Arizona wide receiver Montana Lemonious-Craig (5) scores a touchdown against UCLA defensive back Jaylin Davies (24) and defensive lineman Laiatu Latu during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

 Arizona wide receiver Montana Lemonious-Craig (5) scores a touchdown against UCLA defensive back Jaylin Davies (24) and defensive lineman Laiatu Latu during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

3 of 5 | 

UCLA quarterback Ethan Garbers (4) runs away from Arizona defensive linemen Russell Davis II (99) and Bill Norton during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

UCLA running back Carson Steele (33) tries to get past Arizona defensive lineman Ta'ita'i Uiagalelei (46) and cornerback Treydan Stukes during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

4 of 5 | 

UCLA running back Carson Steele (33) tries to get past Arizona defensive lineman Ta’ita’i Uiagalelei (46) and cornerback Treydan Stukes during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Arizona quarterback Noah Fifita (11) avoids UCLA defensive back John Humphrey during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

BY JOHN MARSHALL contributing

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona’s fans poured over the wall and sprinted onto the field, joining the players in a raucous celebration for the second straight week.

The Wildcats have an even bigger streak to revel in, one that’s never happened in the football program’s 124 years.

Noah Fifita threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns, and Arizona knocked off No. 20 UCLA 27-10 on Saturday night to give the Wildcats victories over ranked opponents in three consecutive games for the first time in school history.

“It was as good of a game as I’ve been a part of the year,” coach Jedd Fisch said. ”I’ve said that now a few weeks in a row and I think that’s what makes us cool. You know that we can keep saying we’re getting better.”

OTHER NEWS

Oregon State running back Damien Martinez runs for a short gain as Colorado linebacker Jordan Domineck pursues during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

No. 16 Oregon State keeps Shedeur Sanders in check in 26-19 win over Colorado

Stanford cornerback Jshawn Frausto-Ramos, bottom, and defensive lineman Tobin Phillips, right, tackle Washington State wide receiver Kyle Williams (2) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, in Pullman, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

Stanford shuts down high-scoring Washington State in 10-7 victory

Kentucky running back Ray Davis (1) runs through an attempted tackle by Mississippi State's Corey Ellington during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Kentucky bowl-eligible after 24-3 victory over Mississippi State

Coming off wins over then-No. 19 Washington State and No. 16 Oregon State, the Wildcats (6-3, 4-2 Pac-12) picked apart one of the nation’s top defenses to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2017 — two years after going 1-11 in Fisch’s first season.

Arizona ran for 129 yards against the FBS’ best run defense, converted 11 of 16 on third down and Fifita was sharp in his fifth straight start. He connected with Tetairoa McMillan on a 12-yard touchdown pass — originally ruled incomplete — early in the fourth quarter and hit 25 of 32 passes.

“Tonight, they just made more plays than us,” said UCLA defensive back Jordan Anderson, who had an interception in the first quarter. “Great team, great receivers. He (Fifita) made good decisions down the stretch.”

The Bruins (6-3, 3-3), one of the nation’s most aggressive pass-rushing teams, had a hard time putting pressure on Fifita and couldn’t get out of their own way on offense.

UCLA missed two field goals — a recurring problem this season — and turned the ball over on downs after recovering a blocked punt at Arizona’s 31 in the fourth quarter.

“It hurts because they put so much into it,” UCLA coach Chip Kelly said. “If you didn’t really put a lot, if you lose it doesn’t bother you that much. But it did hurt at the time because of how hard they train and what they put into it.”

The Bruins got off to a sluggish start last week against Colorado, turning it over four times in the first half before rallying for a 28-16 win.

UCLA was slow out of the gate again in the desert.

The Bruins had a holding call negate a first down deep in Arizona’s end on its opening drive and Blake Glessner missed a 41-yard field goal. A fumble and a sack on another drive forced the Bruins to settle for a field goal attempt and Arizona blocked Glessner’s kick — UCLA’s fifth straight miss over three games.

The Bruins finally found an offensive rhythm late in the half, quickly moving 75 yards for Ethan Garbers’ 17-yard touchdown pass to Carsen Ryan with three seconds left.

Fifita picked apart the Bruins in the first half with quick-hitting passes to set up a pair of scores. He threw two 9-yard TD passes, to Montana Lemonius-Craig and Jacob Cowing, to put the Wildcats up 14-7 at halftime.

QB STRUGGLES

UCLA has played Garbers, Dante Moore and Collin Schlee at quarterback at different times this season.

All three played against Arizona and none were particularly effective.

Garbers started and finished with 143 yards on 13 of 21 passes. Schlee rotated in a few times and missed on all five of his pass attempts. Moore got his turn when Garbers was injured late, finishing 4 of 7 for 14 yards.

BIG PICTURE

UCLA: The Bruins managed to overcome a slow start last week against Colorado. UCLA couldn’t do it against Arizona in a loss that will likely drop the Bruins out of the AP Top 25.

Arizona: The Wildcats played one of the most difficult stretches of any team in the country, facing five straight ranked opponents. Arizona went 3-2 in that stretch, its two losses coming by a combined nine points. The Wildcats could be ranked in next week’s poll for the first time since reaching No. 23 in 2017.

UP NEXT

UCLA: Hosts Arizona State next Saturday.

Arizona: Plays at Colorado next Saturday.