Arizona vs. UCLA: Three keys for a Wildcats victory in Tucson

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Taking a ride on the Disneyland Railroad for this week's three keys

It's been talked about all week: Will the Arizona Wildcats get revenge on UCLA after an embarrassing outing at the Rose Bowl last year?

For some reason, a lot of people are picking the Cats this week, and Arizona's even become a one-point favorite in Vegas heading into the game.

So, how do the Wildcats come out on top this week? Well, we take you on a magical ride through the world of Disneyland for this installment of three keys:

1. Thunder Mountain Railroad

If you've been reading this season, you'll know that Ka'Deem Carey has always been my number one key, and here we are again with Ka'Deem at the top of the list.

The last time Carey didn't rush for at least 119 yards was against these Bruins. He picked up just 54 yards against them last year, and that led to a 66-10 loss. That is the fewest points scored in the RichRod era outside of that 49-0 loss in Oregon last year.

The offensive line needs to do a better job at creating the tunnels for the train this week, then say, last week against Cal when the O-line struggled. Creating those gaps for Ka'Deem will be crucial to Arizona pulling out the W.

2. Invading Tarzan's Treehouse

In this case, UCLA QB Brett Hundley will play the role of Tarzan. The D-line getting pressure on Hundley will greatly help a somewhat beat up rest of the defense. Hopefully Jake Fischer returns to the lineup after missing the Cal game, but if he's not in there, look for Jared Tevis to be playing linebacker instead of safety, which could create all kinds of issues in the secondary this week. Hundley will take advantage of missed coverages that Jared Goff was unable to exploit.

The effectiveness of Tevin Hood and Sione Tuihalamaka, along with blitzes by Scooby Wright and Marquis Flowers will determine if Arizona can stay in this game.

3. Soarin' over Arizona Stadium

The big play ability with the ball in the air, both out of B.J. Denker's left hand, and off the feet of Jake Smith and Drew Riggleman.

Denker will have to establish some sort of threat through the air early to spread UCLA's defense out a little bit for Carey to be more effective. It seems early on in games, Samajie Grant and Terrence Miller have been making this happen, then Nate Phillips and David Richards get involved later on in the game. Have to establish those connections early.

I think the kicking game is going to be crucial. I expect these defenses to both put up their fair share of stops on third downs, so field position will become a big factor. Riggleman's been slowly improving with his punting consistency lately, so hopefully he continues with that trend.

As far as field goals go, Jake Smith showed last week he can make the long ones after making a 53-yarder and almost connecting on a 55-yarder at the end of the first half. He admitted getting a little under that one. I'm thinking this game is tight at the end, and a made field goal late in the fourth quarter could be the difference.

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