The Arizona Wildcats lost their second game of the season to The University of Washington by a score of 44-27.
The final scoreboard is a bit deceiving as the Wildcats did not score a point up until the fourth quarter against a mostly second-team Husky defense. Arizona’s offense couldn’t get going throughout the first half as their first few drives went like this: Punt, Fumble, Punt, Punt.
Arizona only got two first downs in the first half while allowing the Huskies to score 24 points, including three touchdowns in the first two quarters. Quarterback Grant Gunnell finished with 259 yards and three touchdowns but all three of them were in garbage time in the fourth quarter when it seemed like Washington stopped playing at full speed.
“We were expecting to win; we don’t want to get blown out,” Gunnell said. “It sucks because we prepared like we were going to win but we lost. I don’t think I’ve ever lost more than two games in a season. We are pushing. We are doing everything we can. We want to win.”
Saturday’s loss against Washington marked the Wildcats' ninth straight loss dating back to October 2019.
“I’m not going to quit on the team because I know the team wouldn’t quit on me,” Gunnell said. “Keep pushing, making positives out of the negatives. I was frustrated with myself. I wasn’t playing how I needed to play.”
Arizona’s defense struggled from the beginning to stop Washington’s receivers in the secondary as they switched it up from running more last week against Oregon State.
The Huskies put up 44 points and almost 500 total yards against the Wildcats and Arizona just couldn’t stop them in any way for most of Saturday's game. Arizona’s defensive line wasn’t putting enough pressure on the ball and gave freshman quarterback Dylan Morris all day to throw the ball, allowing him to shred the Wildcat defense early on.
“Early on in the game, we did a good job of stopping the run,” linebacker Jalen Harris said. “We need to focus on our job and play hard. We have to keep playing hard and play for each other. We know we are good enough to play with anybody. It’s about putting it together and going hard at all times.”
Harris is one of the veterans on the defense and had a few good plays in the team’s loss to UW as he had two solo tackles.
“The way things started off, it snowballed from there,” head coach Kevin Sumlin said. “It’s no surprise, it’s disappointing and we have to coach better. They dominated the football game up front on both sides of the ball and that sums it up. We have to stick together as a team. Obviously, we had some issues up there with pass protection. It was time to give another guy a chance.”
Next week, the Arizona Wildcats head to California as they look to win their first game of the season against Chip Kelly’s UCLA Bruins on Saturday, Nov. 28.
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