Players to Watch: No. 9 Bruins vs. No. 16 Wildcats

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Sep 19, 2015; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats fans cheer during the third quarter against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks at Arizona Stadium. Arizona won 77-13. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

To say that this week’s match up between No. 9 UCLA Bruins (3-0) and No. 16 Arizona Wildcats (3-0) is a big one would definitely be an understatement.

It’s huge.

Pac-12 play officially begins and the stakes couldn’t be higher. With two undefeated records on the line, a race for the highest playoff ranking and a fight for the Pac-12 South championship, this game means a lot.

Saturday’s conference match up marks the end of what was a rather easy beginning of the season for the Wildcats and the Bruins. UCLA was tested last week though against then No. 19 BYU, but they managed to squeeze out a 24-23 victory to stay undefeated on the young season.

This week is expected to be another nail-biter for the Bruins.

They’ll face an Arizona offense that is ranked fifth in the FBS with 1,754 scrimmage yards and averaging 9.0 yards per play. Last week, the Wildcats offense dominated the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks en route to a 77-13 victory.  

Last season, the Wildcats averaged 40.6 points and 541.9 yards before they faced the Bruins. UCLA didn’t back down though and held Arizona to 255 yards in a 17-7 Bruins win.

Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez is 0-3 against the Bruins, but Arizona has managed to defeat a top 10 team in each of his first three season.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the players to watch in this weekend’s Pac-12 dual…