Final | Huskies 21, Wildcats 16
7:30 p.m. | Arizona Stadium | Tucson, Arizona
TV: ESPN2 | Radio: SportsRadio 950 KJR
Instant analysis: Three impressions from UW’s 21-16 comeback win over Arizona
It looked like all hope was lost. It looked like the Huskies were about to fall to a team that entered Friday with college football’s longest losing streak at 18 consecutive games. It looked like they would fall to 2-5 on the season and reach the lowest point of an already devastating season.
And then, the Huskies found a way.
It was far from pretty. Actually, for a Friday night in late October, you might’ve mistaken the Huskies’ showing in Tucson as a horror flick. But despite giving Husky fans a scare, Washington managed to do just enough to take down the winless Wildcats.
UW Huskies go from rock bottom to rare road win with 21-16 comeback victory over Arizona
TUCSON, Ariz. — The first 45 minutes of Washington’s 21-16 win over 0-7 Arizona on Friday night — which extended the Wildcats’ 19-game losing streak, the longest drought in the nation — looked worse than Montana, worse than Michigan, worse than most Washington football fans could have previously imagined. They looked like a Jackson Pollock painting of poor play calls, errant passes and atrocious run fits, splattered across a turf canvas on national television.
The Huskies rebounded to score three second-half touchdowns and escape with a Pac-12 win over the perpetually winless Wildcats.
But for the first three quarters, it looked like rock bottom.
It looked like a failed opening drive ending with a blocked Race Porter punt, which Arizona rover Isaiah Taylor swatted after rushing unencumbered along the right side of the Husky offensive line.
Huskies complete comeback, take first lead with less than 7 minutes left
The scoring play: Dylan Morris hits Rome Odunze for an 8-yard touchdown.
The drive: 7 plays, 82 yards, 3:17.
The story: With less than seven minutes remaining, the Huskies have taken their first lead.
The score: Huskies 21, Wildcats 16.
UW capitalizes on the INT with a quick TD strike
The scoring play: Cameron Davis rushes left for a 6-yard touchdown.
The drive: Four plays, 71 yards, 1:19.
The story: One play prior to the touchdown, Dylan Morris connected on a 51-yard pass to Terrell Bynum. That's how you capitalize on a big turnover.
The score: Arizona 16, Huskies 14.
Huskies come up with much-needed interception
The drive: Six plays, 50 yards, 2:52.
The story: Tuli Letuligasenoa came up with a much-needed interception to get the Huskies the ball back.
Next possession: UW starts at own 29.
Time left: 12:58 in 4Q.
Arizona tacks on FG to extend lead back to two scores
The scoring play: Arizona kicker Tyler Loop hits a 35-yard field goal to extend the Wildcats' lead back up to 9.
The drive: 15 plays, 58 yards, 7:10.
The score: Arizona 16, Huskies 7.
UW finally finds end zone to cut into deficit
The scoring play: UW QB Dylan Morris hits Terrell Bynum for a 16-yard touchdown to cut into the Huskies' deficit early in the second half.
The drive: 8 plays, 81 yards, 3:21.
The score: Wildcats 13, Huskies 7.
UW forces Wildcats into three-and-out to open third quarter
The drive: Three plays, 9 yards, 1:58.
The story: UW forced the Wildcats into a three-and-out to start the second half. Can their offense avoid another punt?
Next possession: UW starts at own 19.
Time left: 13:02 in 3Q.
UW punts on fifth consecutive drive
The drive: Six plays, 22 yards, 4:04.
The story: The Huskies have yet to drive into Arizona territory as they'll punt for the fifth consecutive drive. This is ugly.
Next possession: Wildcats start at own 8.
Time left: 4:12 in 2Q.
Arizona rushes in for a touchdown, 10-0 lead over Huskies
The scoring play: Jamarye Joiner rushes up the middle for a 1-yard touchdown.
The drive: 10 plays, 64 yards, 3:40.
The score: Wildcats 10, Huskies 0.
Arizona takes the early lead on a FG
The scoring play: Arizona kicker Tyler Loop hit a 34-yard field goal to take the early lead.
The drive: Four plays, 7 yards, 1:48.
The score: Arizona 3, Huskies 0.
After Morris takes sack, UW has punt blocked
The drive: Seven plays, 19 yards, 4:11.
The story: UW completed one pass and rushed five times on the first drive, but QB Dylan Morris took a drive-killing sack on third down. The Huskies then had their punt blocked. Not great!
Next possession: Arizona starts at UW's 23.
Time left: 10:49 in 1Q.
What to watch for when Washington takes on winless Arizona, plus Mike Vorel’s prediction
After his team surrendered a pair of interceptions, while failing to force a single turnover in a 24-17 loss to UCLA, UW head coach Jimmy Lake said: “We talked about, over the bye week, making sure we’re trying to flip our turnover margin and making sure we’re protecting the football better and getting the ball back on defense. Unfortunately, we were not able to do that tonight.” For the most part, the Huskies haven’t been able to do it all season. Their turnover margin (-0.67) ranks 11th in the Pac-12, behind only the team it plays Friday, Arizona (-1.5). That’s due to a number of factors, including: UW’s disappointing run defense, which has failed to get opponents into obvious passing situations; its tepid pass rush, which has failed to force fumbles and poor throws; and UW quarterback Dylan Morris throwing eight interceptions, three more than any Pac-12 quarterback. And yet, UW will have another opportunity to flip its turnover margin against Arizona.
Read more keys to the game here.
Can you teach a team to finish? And do these Husky coaches know how?
Can you teach a team to finish?
That’s a critical question for a Washington football team with a 1-3 record in one-score games.
In the 13-7 defeat against Montana, a potentially game-saving drive with 1:12 left featured one 25-yard reception by tight end Cade Otton, four separate incompletions and a telegraphed interception that sealed the upset.
In the 27-24 loss to Oregon State, a drive in a tied game with 6:35 left ended when Dylan Morris’ quarterback sneak was stoned for no gain on fourth-and-one, preceding the Beavers’ walk-off field goal.
In the 24-17 defeat against UCLA, Morris underthrew wide receiver Jalen McMillan, resulting in an interception instead of a game-tying score. The Bruins then ran seven consecutive times for 37 yards to kill the clock.
Heck, in the 31-24 overtime victory over California, the Huskies blew a 24-10 third-quarter lead, and it took a 55-yard missed field goal by the Bears with no time remaining to mercifully force overtime.
A killer instinct, a clutch gene — whatever you call it — it’s one difference between 2-4 and 5-1.
From walk-on holder to senior leader, UW punter Race Porter strives to be ‘the best player on the team’
Race Porter may be the best player on the team.
Which, considering the context, should be inconceivable.
Porter — a 6-foot-3, 190-pound senior from Seattle — didn’t start punting until his senior year of high school, after all. And even that was attributed to a happy accident, after Porter — primarily a golfer, a basketball player and track and field standout — joined O’Dea’s football team as an aspiring wide receiver.
“That was the first plan,” Porter said on Wednesday. “And then they didn’t have a punter leading into the first game, so they asked if I wanted to try it out, and it wasn’t too hard for me. That was the history of that.”
UW coach Jimmy Lake says Huskies are ‘nowhere near’ a quarterback change
There may be a point this season when Washington replaces its starting quarterback.
“We are nowhere near that point right now,” UW coach Jimmy Lake said Monday, two days after a 24-17 homecoming loss to UCLA dropped the Huskies to 2-4. “We are a couple plays away from being (3-0 in the Pac-12). And I know we’re not; we’re 1-2 in conference, and that’s what our record is and that’s what we are. But if you go back to the last two games, we’re one, two plays away from being 3-0 in conference. So we’re close, and we’ve got to keep working. We’ve got to keep getting better and make sure we can change those results.
“So there’s not going to be a panic button pushed here where all of a sudden we’re just going to be rotating guys in and out at certain positions, especially an important position like quarterback.”
Maybe the Huskies really are “one, two plays away from being 3-0 in conference.”
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