The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

88° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Wildcats look to get back on track against Washington


Running back Nick Wilson (28) skids through Washington’s defensive line on Nov. 15, 2014. The Wildcats finished last year’s game against the Huskies with 375 offensive yards.

Arizona football is leading the Pac-12 Conference in average points per game (41.8) while Washington leads the conference in points allowed per game (18.9). Something will have to give, as the Wildcats will once again attempt to get back on track Saturday when they travel to Seattle to take on the Huskies.

The Wildcats lost a game to Washington State that could have placed them firmly back in the divisional race and catapulted them into prime position to defend their Pac-12 South title.

“Certainly we’re disappointed with Saturday’s result,” said Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez on Monday. “We went through the film, went over a couple of adjustments and then talked to the team, talked to the defense quite a bit and then we’re on to the Huskies.”

Washington will be the toughest defensive opponent the Wildcats have seen so far this season in terms of yards allowed. The Huskies are currently tied for 22nd in the country in points allowed at 18.9 points per game, including holding USC to only 12 points on their way to a 17-12 upset over the Trojans in Los Angeles.

Washington’s yards allowed per game are one of the areas the Wildcats could capitalize on. The Huskies’ defense allows about 364 yards per game. Arizona leads the Pac-12 and is currently ranked No. 5 in the country in total yards while averaging 535 yards per game.

It will be interesting to see who comes out on top with a fast-paced offense set to face a rock-solid defense.

The Wildcats’ biggest question going into the game is who will start at quarterback.

Rodriguez pulled starter Anu Solomon in the second half of Arizona’s game against Wazzu in favor of backup Jerrard Randall. There is a strong possibility that we might see both quarterbacks at different points in the game.

Rodriguez said earlier this week that Solomon played well last weekend, but that he made the quarterback adjustment to add a spark to the Wildcats’ offense.

Defense is what has been hurting the Wildcats as of late. Arizona has allowed an average of 52 points per game in its losses this season.

The Wildcats continue to rank at the bottom of college football in terms of defense. Arizona is 109th in the country in yards allowed per game with 452 yards.

Arizona has continued to struggle putting pressure on quarterbacks and, as was the case against Luke Falk, has been shredded in the passing game.

Another freshman quarterback, Jake Browning, will be taking aim at a wounded Wildcats defense this weekend.

Browning has looked good recently but statistically, he might be the most inefficient Pac-12 quarterback Arizona has seen so far. Browning has thrown for 1,332 yards, six scores and five interceptions with just a 62 percent completion rate.

Keep an eye on Washington running back Myles Gaskin. The freshman has recently taken over the starting running back role and has performed well. He has accumulated 58 carries for 397 yards and three touchdowns over the last three games.

This young Huskies corps could cause problems for a struggling Wildcats defense.

Safety Tellas Jones (concussion) is listed as probable on Arizona’s Thursday injury report, while running back Nick Wilson (knee) and defensive lineman Parker Zellers (knee) are questionable for Saturday’s showdown. Receiver Tyrell Johnson (hamstring) is doubtful and linebackers Derrick Turituri (hip) and Scooby Wright III (foot) remain out.

It will ultimately come down to which strength controls the game. If Arizona’s offense quickly piles up yards, expect the Wildcats to have a better chance to win the game. However, if they are dominated by the Huskies’ defense, it could be a long day for Arizona football.

Kickoff in Husky Stadium will be at 8 p.m. and will be televised on Fox Sports 1.

Follow Kyle Hansen on Twitter.

More to Discover
Activate Search