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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona dismantles Washington 52-17

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Tyler Besh

Tyler Besh/Arizona Daily Wildcat

Entering the Wildcats matchup with Washington two years ago, former Arizona quarterback Nick Foles was hurt, so Matt Scott made a spot start against the Huskies and wound up leading the UA to a victory. On Saturday against the Huskies, with Foles in a crowd of 50,148, Scott led Arizona to a decisive 52-17 victory.

“It was a really nice win,” head coach Rich Rodriguez said. “Guys should enjoy it for 24 hours because we got a pretty big one comg up in a week.

“I think we needed a win, everything is better with a win.”

Ironically, Scott’s career day — he had a career-high five total touchdowns, four through the air — came with his fewest pass attempts —he was 14-of-22 for 256 yards — in a game this season.

Rodriguez unsurprisingly reverted back to the run-first play-calling tendencies from his West Virginia days, using a 49-to-22 run to pass ratio. The Huskies had the No. 11 rush defense in the Pac-12 entering the game, compared to the No. 2 pass defense.

The Wildcats gained 277 yards on the ground, and 533 total. Running back Ka’Deem Carey had a stellar first half, rushing 22 times for 109 yards and finished with a career-high 172 yards on 29 carries, bringing his season total to 842 yards.

With a touchdown in the fourth quarter, giving the Wildcats a 52-17 lead, Carey tied Trung Candidate for fourth on the single-season touchdown list with 11.

“Ka’Deem carey is a really, really talented guy,” Rodriguez said. “He runs hungry. He makes you tackle him and, boy, he took some shots. Hes a talented, talertned guy. All he needs a little bit of a crease.”

“I felt we always had the run game,” Carey added. “We just go out there and Matt makes the right reads which means holes are open.”

The game was pretty much over at halftime, as the Wildcats went into the locker room with a 31-17 lead. The second half opened with a Carey fumble that was recovered by UW, but then the Huskies fumbled the ball right back to the Wildcats. The UA finished off the drive on a 17-yard touchdown pass to Austin Hill, giving Arizona a 38-17 lead.

Hill had two catches, both for touchdowns, for 70 yards.

After weeks of struggles on defense, and especially special teams, both units stepped up against UW.

The return unit has struggled mightily this season, ranking 11th in the Pac-12 in both kickoff and punt return yardage. In the third quarter, receiver/returner Richard Morrison broke free for a 63-yard punt return touchdown to give the UA a 45-17 lead with 9:35 left in the third. Morrison’s touchdown marked the first punt return score since Bug Wright in 2009.

Defensively, the Wildcats held UW quarterback Keith Price in check as he completed 29-of-52 passes for 256 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

The first interception came on the first drive of the second quarter, where Arizona did something it hasn’t all season — it followed up a sack with an interception, and eventually a touchdown.

The Wildcats had their first sack of the game when Reggie Gilbert and Hank Hobson combined for a sack, then the next play fullback/defensive end Taimi Tutogi brought pressure onto Price leading to an errant throw into the arms of safety Tra’Mayne Bondurant. The turnover resulted in a 1-yard touchdown run from Scott, giving Arizona a 17-3 lead.

The Wildcats had a season-high four sack on the night, along with seven tackles for loss, including Tutogi’s first career sack late in the second quarter. The second interception came with 9:27 left in the third, by safety Jourdon Grandon, and with the game already out of reach at 45-17.

“That was our plan the whole week,” safety Tra’Mayne Bondurant said. “We focused on getting pressure and executing blitzes and it paid off.”

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