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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

Arizona WBB looks to rebound at home against UC San Diego
Jason Dayee, Assistant Sports Editor • December 7, 2023
 

Polked.

Polked.
Sang Cho

SEATTLE — For the first 10 minutes of Saturday’s game at Washington, Arizona played its best football of the season.

It scored on its first to possessions to take a 10-0 lead and forced the Husky offense to consecutive three-and-outs, taking a black-clad homecoming crowd of 59,825 all but out of the game.

But then things fell apart for an Arizona team that found itself in a close contest late in the game for the first time of the season, and Washington improved to 6-2 (4-1 Pac-12 Conference) after a come-from-behind 42-31 victory that was sparked three fourth-quarter turnovers from the Wildcats (2-6, 1-5 Pac-12).

“I felt like we weren’t as crisp as we were last week,” quarterback Nick Foles said.

One of Arizona’s three fourth-quarter turnovers came at the Washington 43-yard line when wide receiver Juron Criner was stripped of the ball to put a halt to a potential go-ahead drive.

Another came with the Wildcats trailing by 11 with just over two minutes left, when Foles threw a pass intended for Criner that was intercepted at the Washington 18-yard line.

“I didn’t play particularly well, especially at the end,” Foles said. “I made a couple of throws that I’m just not happy about. I’m better than that. I just didn’t play well.”

Arizona had a chance to burn some clock and put Washington up against a wall after Trevin Wade intercepted a Keith Price pass with the Wildcats leading, 31-28.

But the Wildcat offense sputtered to a three-and-out, taking just 1:22 off the clock.

“That would have been a critical time for us to move the football and at least get a first down or two,” Kish said. “I think our defense was getting a little gassed there at that point. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t keep the ball for a little longer.”

Milking the clock wasn’t the only area that Arizona’s offense struggled in.

The Wildcats couldn’t score touchdowns in the red zone, settling for a field goal on two of its three trips including a possession in the fourth quarter that saw the Wildcats get inside the Washington 5-yard line.

“When you’re on the road playing against a very quality opponent, it hurts when you don’t score touchdowns on those situations,” interim head coach Tim Kish said. “We just couldn’t punch it in.”

On the flip side, the Husky offense had no problem scoring touchdowns in the red zone — it scored a touchdown on each of its six trips inside the Arizona 20-yard line.

Washington running back Chris Polk became the first player in school history to gain 100 yards both through the air and on the ground and also set a school record by rushing for over 100 yards for the 18th time in his career.

“He’s a good back,” linebacker Paul Vassallo said. “But we had nine, 10 days — whatever it was — to prepare for him. So that was enough time.”

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