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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA football offense had several highlights despite OT loss to No. 9 Washington

Alex McIntyre
Arizona quarterbak Brandon Dawkins (13) leaps into the endzone for a touchdown against Washington at Arizona Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 24. The Wildcats lost to the Huskies 35-28 in overtime.

After Arizona quarterback Brandon Dawkins’ spectacular performance against Hawaii, a drop off was almost expected in his following start. While Dawkins dazzled on the ground again, No. 9 Washington made Arizona beat it through the air and the Wildcats couldn’t do it consistently enough.

Washington’s first-team defense had not allowed a touchdown all season coming into Saturday’s contest. Opponents were averaging just 10 points per game against the Husky defense.

Washington’s run defense was allowing 91.3 yards on 42.7 carries for a stout 2.1 yards per carry. Arizona was still determined to run the ball and boy did it ever on Saturday. 

The combo of Dawkins and J.J. Taylor combined for over 200 yards for the second week in a row. The duo accounted for  278 yards and three touchdowns on the ground against Washington.

The Wildcats drove the ball 75 yards on 15 plays to open the game against Washington’s vaunted defense. They drove the ball on Washington again in the first quarter before getting stuffed at the goal line, which came back to haunt Arizona. 

“At the end of the day, I would rather have the ball in my hands and [head coach Rich Rodriguez] trusted us and [Washington] ended up getting the best of it and stopping us,” Dawkins said.

Dawkins was killing the Washington defense through the air and on the ground with Taylor complementing him. 

Dawkins completed his first 11 passes, but Washington’s defense seemed to figure him out as the game progressed. After the hot start, Dawkins missed his next seven passes, and Arizona’s offense looked anemic after Taylor suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the third quarter. 

Faced with the burden of  Zach Green and Tyrell Johnson filling in, Dawkins struggled at times.

“Brandon missed a couple of things in the pass game and we know he will try to correct it in film tomorrow,” Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez said.

The only play that seemed to consistently work after Taylor’s injury was Dawkins dropping back to pass and then scrambling.

When it comes to passing, wide receiver Shun Brown seems to be the only receiver Dawkins has been on point with over the last two weeks. Brown has 12 catches for 206 yards while the next leading receiver has 40. 

Washington might have shown a blueprint for shutting down Arizona’s offense. Credit Dawkins, though, for torching Washington on the ground. That style of play just might not last for long.

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