UCLA-Arizona Preview

The Associated Press

UCLA got back on track following back-to-back losses against highly-touted conference foes.

Now it will turn its attention to slowing slow down the nation's leading rusher as it aims to keep moving in the right direction.

The 16th-ranked Bruins try to end a four-game losing streak in Tucson on Saturday night against Ka'Deem Carey and Arizona.

Aspirations beyond a Pac-12 title - perhaps a BCS bowl appearance - were all but lost in road defeats to then-No. 13 Stanford and No. 2 Oregon in the last two weekends of October. The 42-14 setback to the Ducks on Oct. 26 was particularly dejecting as the Bruins surrendered 21 fourth-quarter points.

UCLA (6-2, 3-2) responded with last Saturday's 45-23 win over Colorado. The offense achieved a measure of redemption, recording 412 yards after totaling 549 with 24 points in the previous two games.

Quarterback Brett Hundley was 19 of 24 for 273 yards with four total TDs. He had thrown four interceptions and was sacked seven times in the two losses while averaging just 4.4 yards per attempt.

"It's a relief, but our confidence was never lost," said Hundley, whose dad played running back at Arizona. "Obviously, I know and we know that we can still get the job done. I feel like this team can really respond well, no matter what we go through."

Still, UCLA would like to improve on the road, where the team has been outscored 114-99 compared to a 199-66 margin at home. The Bruins' last trip to Arizona (6-2, 3-2) ended in a 48-12 loss on Oct. 20, 2011. They haven't won in Tucson since a 24-21 result on Oct. 11, 2003.

Last year's meeting ended in a 66-10 blowout in the Bruins' favor as they racked up 611 yards of offense and 36 first downs against a Wildcats squad that entered ranked 24th. Hundley was 23 of 28 for 288 yards and three TDs.

"It's painful to watch but we have to," Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said of the film from last year. "We didn't play well, and they played well so it was a very poor performance on our part in all three phases. We have to watch it to learn what we need to get better at and how they may attack us."

That marked the last game in which Carey failed to rush for 100 yards, as he totaled 54 yards on 16 carries. In 11 games since - including a bowl victory - Carey has 1,986 rushing yards with 20 TDs.

He leads the FBS in rushing this season with 153.1 yards per game and carried the ball 32 times for 152 yards in last Saturday's 33-28 win at California, Arizona's third consecutive victory.

UCLA ranks eighth in the conference, surrendering 167.6 rushing yards per game.

Reflecting on last year's contest, Mora didn't give his team too much credit for holding Carey to a season-low rushing total. The 16 carries were also Carey's second-fewest of the season and more a matter of circumstance as the Bruins raced out to a 21-0 lead before the end of the first quarter.

"I think they probably had to throw it more than they probably wanted to," Mora said. "You don't necessarily bottle up Ka'Deem Carey. You try to limit his explosive plays against you. ... You don't just stop those guys. It's going to be a great test for us."

The Bruins should be helped by the return of linebacker Eric Kendricks, who sat out versus Colorado due to a shoulder injury suffered against Oregon. Kendricks' 65 tackles lead the team.

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