UCLA 31, Arizona 26: Defensive end Keenan Graham

Defensive end Keenan Graham was often used as a blocker in the “PAC” formation that featured freshman linebacker Myles Jack at tailback. The senior said the look, which offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone came up with this week, flustered Arizona’s defense.

“I was looking at the faces of the defensive players,” Graham said. “Some of them didn’t know what was going on. They didn’t know what to check to. They were overwhelmed.”

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At a glance: No. 16 UCLA at Arizona

No. 16 UCLA (6-2, 3-2 Pac-12) vs. Arizona (6-2, 3-2)
Arizona Stadium, Nov. 9, 7 p.m. PT
TV: ESPN (Joe Tessitore, Matt Millen, Maria Taylor)
Radio: 570 AM (Chris Roberts, Matt Stevens, Wayne Cook)

Last meeting: UCLA crushed Arizona 66-10, the most lopsided win in the all-time series. Running back Johnathan Franklin set the school’s career rushing mark with a 37-yard touchdown in the first quarter, and he Bruins’ led 42-3 at the half.

Key storylines: The Bruins haven’t won in Tucson since 2003, when they rallied back from an 11-point halftime deficit to win 24-21. Also, this happened the last time they went to the Zona Zoo. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Jim Mora talks Arizona, Ka’Deem Carey

UCLA coach Jim Mora talked a bit about Arizona’s offense Tuesday morning, pointing out the Wildcats’ effective run game. Rich Rodriguez’s spread has the team at 275.4 rushing yards per game, 12th in the country.

“You look at them as a casual observer, you see the four wide sets, you think they’re just going to sling it all over the yard,” Mora said. “Really, they just do a great job of spreading you out and running it.”

Star running back Ka’Deem Carey leads college football with 153.1 yards per game, and hasn’t been held under 100 yards since UCLA limited him to 54 last November.

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Pac-12 links: Quarterback battles and recruiting hostesses

» Mike Riley finally named junior Sean Mannion his starting quarterback over senior Cody Vaz. Offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf said Mannion won’t need to look over his shoulder.

» Oregon announced its two-deep yesterday. Starting at defensive end is Tony Washington, whose father died of a heart attack exactly four years ago. He was 48.

» An upcoming book on college football called “The System” alleges that Lane Kiffin paid hostesses to help close the deal with recruits — the subject of an NCAA investigation in 2009. Reporters Armen Keteyian and Jeff Benedict got Lacey Pearl Earps, the most infamous of the hostesses, to speak on record for the first time. It’s far from the best tidbit in what Y! Sports columnist Dan Wetzel called “the best book on the sport written in years.” Continue reading

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UCLA picked to win Pac-12 South

Here are the full results of the Pac-12 preseason media poll, with first-place votes in parentheses. Few surprises down the line, as Oregon was named both the North Division and conference favorite. UCLA was named the South Division favorite, and also receive three votes as the Pac-12 champion.

South Division
1. UCLA (12) … 130
2. Arizona State (9) … 124
3. USC (4) … 113
4. Arizona … 73
5. Utah … 58
6. Colorado … 27

North Division
1. Oregon (14) … 139
2. Stanford (11) … 134
3. Oregon State … 91
4. Washington … 81
5. Cal … 45
6. Washington State … 32

Pac-12 Champion: Oregon (13 votes)
Others: Stanford (8), UCLA (3)

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Pac-12 links: Arizona’s Aaron Gordon named U-19 World Championships MVP

» Incoming Arizona freshman Aaron Gordon took MVP honors as the U.S. U-19 team won gold at the FIBA World Championships in Prague. Likely a future top-five NBA draft pick, the 6-foot-8 forward led the team with 12.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game despite being the third-youngest player on the roster. Coach Billy Donovan compared Gordon’s energy and passion on the court to Joakim Noah’s.

» Brad Stevens is now the youngest head coach in the NBA — a title once held by Arizona State assistant Eric Musselman. He broke down a few key differences between working in college and the pros.

» Penn State guard Jermaine Marshall will graduate in August and transfer to Arizona State. The 6-foot-4 slasher averaged 15 points for the Nittany Lions, and should slide into the starting backcourt with Pac-12 Co-Freshman of the Year Jahii Carson. Continue reading

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