Washington (4-2, 1-2) vs. Arizona (4-1, 2-0)
Saturday, October 12th @ 8:00 p.m. PT
Arizona Stadium (Tucson, Arizona)
Line: Washington -5.5
Radio: KOMO AM-1000/FM-97.7
During the game last week, the Huskies were unable to play at their pace and dictate their style of play in a 23-13 defeat at Stanford.
This week, the Huskies are facing an opponent who is coming off a tough and gritty 35-30 road win against the Colorado Buffaloes.
So far this season, Arizona is currently 2-0 in Pac-12 conference play and is boasting the top record in the Pac-12 South Division.
“NO! I’d rather be playing at home,” Washington head coach Chris Petersen said when asked about whether he wants to go back out and prove they can win on the road this week.
Historically, the Huskies have not had much success playing at the desert, in the state of Arizona, and hope to reverse their fortune on Saturday night.
Defensively, the Huskies will have to find a way to slow down the highest scoring offense in the conference and their athletic quarterback.
Offensively, the Wildcats must play fast and continue to impose their will on the young Husky defense and dictate the tempo.
Something has to give, in this contest between the “high octane” Wildcats offense and the “getting up off the canvas” Huskies.
KEY PLAYERS: WASHINGTON
QB – Jacob Eason
The junior quarterback transferred from Georgia a couple years ago and possesses one of the strongest arms in the nation for any quarterback. His ability to fit balls into tight passing windows is what makes Eason a threat at all times when the Huskies have the ball.
DB – Myles Bryant
The senior defensive back was converted to safety during the offseason. He is the unquestioned heart and soul of the Husky defense. He was named to the preseason All-Pac-12 first team and was also named to the preseason watch lists for the Nagurski, Thorpe and Bednarik awards.
TE – Hunter Bryant
The junior tight end was named to the preseason All-Pac-12 second team. He was also named to the preseason watch list for Mackey Award. Bryant is a mismatch nightmare for opposing defenses with his ability to catch the ball and his physical blocking ability.
KEY PLAYERS: ARIZONA
QB – Khalil Tate
Quarterback Khalil Tate threw three touchdown passes Saturday at Colorado, and now has 52 for his career. He is 15 touchdowns shy of the school record of 67, held by Nick Foles and Willie Tuitama. Tate has 5,452 career passing yards, which ranks ninth all-time in program history.
TE – J.J. Taylor
Redshirt junior running back J.J. Taylor has rushed for 2,754 career yards, which ranks ninth all-time in school history. He needs 204 yards to pass Nic Grigsby for eighth. Last season he was named a third-team All-American by the Associated Press, as an all-purpose player.
LB – Colin Schooler
Linebacker Colin Schooler enters Saturday’s game with 40 career tackles-for-loss. He is .5 away from entering Arizona’s top 10 all-time. Schooler was named a First Team All-Pac-12 selection by the Associated Press, while garnering honorable mention honors from the league office.
ESPN MATCHUP PREDICTOR
– Washington holds a 21-11-1 edge in the series against Arizona, with the Huskies taking 14 of the last 22.
– In all six games this year, UW opponents have scored between 14 and 23 points.
– Since the 1947 season, Washington is 219-68-3 (.760) when a Husky player rushes for 100 yards in a game. The Huskies are 20-3 in such games dating back to the 2016 season, and 2-1 this year.
– Arizona enters Saturday’s game riding its first four- game winning streak since 2017. The team’s 4-1 start this season is the program’s best since starting 5-0 in 2014. The Wildcats are also 2-0 in conference play for the first time since 2014.
– Arizona is 3-0 at home this season. The Wildcats haven’t started 4-0 or better at Arizona Stadium since starting 5-0 at home in 2009. Coach Kevin Sumlin is 7-2 at home since taking over as Arizona’s head coach with the two losses being by a total of six points.
– The Wildcats have 9 different players with a touchdown catch, which is tied with Oregon and Washington State for tops in the Pac-12.
Tysen Allumbaugh [“Dawg Thoughts” Show Host] (3-2)
Welp, it’s a second consecutive road game for the Huskies and they’re playing in a state that doesn’t treat them warmly (That’s a weather joke!).
I’d like to say there is something in the water in Tucson, however deserts aren’t exactly known for H2O but I digress…
The Dawgs regressed on offense and defense last week, getting punked in Palo Alto… How will they respond? I’m not so sure anymore but until proven otherwise, this is a Cheez-It Bowl offense with an Alamo Bowl defense.
Washington wins because they have better players and a better program, but I don’t have a ton of faith.
Washington 24 – Arizona 23
Jeff Wright (4-2)
Another week and another “Pac-12 After Dark” game for the Huskies. Plain and simple, this is manhood check time for the Huskies and an opportunity for them to get up off the canvas and prove they are a good team. What is concerning is the similar variables to Stanford last week. The Huskies have another late kickoff where they have lost both games already this season. They are also playing in the desert, which has not been too kind to the Husky Football program traditionally through the years. Combine both of those elements and you already have an uphill climb. The Husky defense will have it’s hands full this weekend with the fast tempo offense of the Wildcats. The ability to limit QB Khalil Tate will decide the game in my opinion. Will the young defense be able to communicate properly and keep him in check. The Wildcats are explosive both off the ground and through the air and the Huskies will need a good week of practice to pull this win off. Offensively, the Huskies will need to run the football effectively to have a chance. Doing that without redshirt RB Richard Newton will be tough, but junior RB Salvon Ahmed is plenty enough if they actually give him the carries. Arizona’s defense gives up near 30 points per game so the Huskies should be able to put points up on the board. Scoring touchdowns and not FG’s in the red zone area will be critical. Chris Petersen teams usually respond well after a loss and very seldom play two bad games in a row. The Dawgs come out pissed after last week and yes..The OFFENSE drives down the field at the end with Mr. Reliable Peyton Henry sealing the deal with a game winning FG. Just like the last trip to Tucson, the Huskies pull out a nail biter on the road! Go Dawgs!
Washington 35 – Arizona 34
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