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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona leads Washington 31-17 at halftime

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Tyler Besh

Tyler Besh

Head coach Rich Rodriguez was supposed to bring a run-first, ask questions later mentality to the UA, but through six games that wasn’t the case. In the first half against Washington on Saturday though, as the Wildcats ran their way to a 31-17 lead.

For much of the first half Rodriguez was leaning heavily on the legs of running back Ka’Deem Carey and quarterback Matt Scott

Ka’Deem Carey ran for 109 yards on 22 carries, but no touchdowns as quarterback Matt Scott snared a goal line touchdown early in the second quarter. Arizona only had one rushing touchdown, but with its effective running game and a 28-17 run-pass ratio, Scott was able to have a field day on his 17 passes.

He threw an interception with less than a minute remaining in the second quarter, leading to a Washington touchdown from running back Bishop Sankey with 13 seconds remaining, but Scott’s three touchdowns and 217 passing yards helped overcome the turnover, as did the play of an unheralded backup receiver.

Through the first six weeks, Arizona were picking a new “receiver of the week” to complement Dan Buckner and Austin Hill. At various points, Tyler Slavin, Johnny Jackson and David Richards all had big weeks. Speedster Garic Wharton stepped up in the first half, hauling in three catches for 59 yards, including a 33-yard grab to give the UA a 24-3 lead with 4:43 left in the half.

The defense was surprisingly was a key factor as well for the first time in weeks, particularly in the beginning of the second quarter.

On the first drive of the second quarter, the Wildcats did something it hasn’t done all season. One player after recording combined sack by Reggie Gilbert and Hank Hobson, pressure from Taimi Tutogi led to Price throwing interception to safety Tra’Mayne Bondurant. A sack, then an interception, and eventually a touchdown. Scott converted at the goal line for a 17-3 lead.

Tutogi recorded his first career sack later in the quarter, giving the Wildcats two heading into halftime.

The defense was unable to hold Washington toward the end of the half, though, as the Huskies scored a touchdown with 3:41 remaining in the half on a pass from Washington quarterback Keith Price to tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Seferian-Jenkins had five receptions for 83 yards after two quarters.

On the first drive of the game, Washington was in a groove, starting out by completing his first five passes for 46 yards to get into Arizona territory. After a few third down stops, including four incompletions by Price, the Huskies settled for a 43-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead.

After that, Carey had five carries for 39 yards to open the game, setting up Scott perfectly for a 27-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Hill, giving the UA a 10-7 lead.

The Wildcats second drive was dominated by Scott, with the key play coming as Scott hurled the ball on a long fade route to Dan Buckner for a 43-yard gain. Late hit penalty brought the ball to the 13-yard line. The Wildcats were unable to convert though, settling for a 24-yard field from John Bonano for the 10-3 lead.

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