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January 10, 2013

Arizona releases 2013 football schedule

Arizona will re-open the north end zone seating and debut its $72 million Lowell-Stevens football facility Aug. 31, when the Wildcats host Northern Arizona in the 2013 season opener.

It also will be UA's first game on a new artificial surface expected to be installed.

The schedule, released Thursday afternoon, will have a considerably lighter nonconference load coming off last year's slate, which featured a formidable Toledo squad and ranked Oklahoma State team. After the opener, the 'Cats will travel to UNLV on Sept. 7 before hosting Texas-San Antonio a week later.

After playing eight home games in 2012, the Wildcats will have a month-plus gap between home games following the UTSA tilt.

UA will then have one of two bye weeks - the other is the week of Oct. 5 - with the Pac-12 Conference opener Sept. 28 at Washington sandwiched in between. Coming off the second bye, Rich Rodriguez's squad will then visit USC on Oct. 10 to briefly end the long stretch away from Arizona Stadium.

Utah will travel to Tucson on Oct. 19, and then it's back on the road. Arizona will go to Colorado on Oct. 26 before California re-enters the scheduling rotation Nov. 2.

The Golden Bears will be one of two Pac-12 opponents to face RichRod's high-powered offense for the first time this season. Washington State and head coach Mike Leach will do the same, except travel to Tucson on Nov. 16.

The Homecoming Game will feature a Nov. 9 matchup against UCLA, which handed the Wildcats their worst loss - a 56-point margin - last season.

The regular-season home finale Nov. 23 against Oregon will give UA another chance to avenge a crushing defeat, a 49-0 blowout at Autzen Stadium.

Staying on the theme of revenge, Arizona will close the regular season Nov. 30 with a Territorial Cup showdown at Arizona State. The Sun Devils stunned the Wildcats last season, rallying late for a 41-34 win.

Game times have yet to decided.

In Rodriguez's first season at the helm, the Wildcats won eight games including the New Mexico Bowl. Five teams on the 2013 schedule appeared in a bowl game including the Ducks, who won the Fiesta Bowl.

Tracy McDannaldTracy McDannald
GOAZCATS.com Senior Editor

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