Jake Browning threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Dante Pettis in the first overtime, and No. 9 Washington held on for a dramatic 35-28 victory over Arizona late Saturday night before 48,747 at Arizona Stadium.

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TUCSON, Ariz. — It didn’t have to be this difficult. It always is for the Huskies in Arizona.

Jake Browning threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Dante Pettis in the first overtime, and No. 9 Washington held on for a dramatic 35-28 victory over Arizona late Saturday night before 48,747 at Arizona Stadium.

It’s the Huskies’ first win in Tucson since 2006. It nearly didn’t happen.

The Huskies (4-0) needed the unlikely heroics of Lavon Coleman to overcome several botched chances to extend their second-half lead. Coleman had scored on a 55-yard touchdown with 3:25 remaining to give the Huskies a 28-21 lead, only to see Arizona tie it with 17 seconds left in regulation.

UW could finally celebrate when Arizona sophomore quarterback Brandon Dawkins, terrific in his first Pac-12 start, threw incomplete into the end zone on fourth down in overtime, sending UW players onto the field in celebration.

UW coach Chris Petersen said he was “so irritated and frustrated much of the game. … A lot of frustration because they know we can be a lot better than that.”

Challenged for the first time this season in their first road game, the Huskies opened Pac-12 play with a win — albeit a nervous one against the pesky Wildcats (2-2).

The performance was hardly flawless, but good enough to set up a top-10 showdown against No. 7 Stanford (3-0) on Friday night at Husky Stadium in the Pac-12’s most anticipated game of the season.

It will be just the fourth top-10 matchup in Husky Stadium history, and the first since 1997.

Pettis was Browning’s third read in his progression on the winning TD pass. “We’ve repped that play an insane amount of times since spring ball,” Browning said. “It wasn’t a great ball — I thought it was kind of high — but that was a big-time catch.”

Petersen said he would probably need a month to clean up all the Huskies’ mistakes— missed tackles, blown assignments — but they have just six day to prepare for Stanford, which rallied for a 22-13 victory at UCLA on Saturday night.

“I am really proud of how these guys responded,” Petersen said. “They just kept fighting.”

Coleman finished with a career-high 181 yards on 11 carries, including a 24-yard run on the first play of overtime to set up Browning’s TD pass to Pettis.

“In the huddle (going into overtime), we looked at each other and said, ‘Be physical.’ That’s it: Be physical,” Coleman said. “We pride ourselves in being a physical team. … It’s a great win, and it’s a good thing to really learn (from).”

Despite a shaky start, UW gained control of the game, and the clock, in the third quarter. The Huskies opened the third period with a seven-play, 75-yard drive, capped by Browning’s 3-yard touchdown run. That gave UW its first lead, 21-14.

It stayed 21-14 until Dawkins broke free for a 56-yard gain on third-and-long in the fourth quarter. Two plays later, he leaped into the end zone to tie the score at 21 with 4:45 remaining.

After a disastrous start when UW fell behind 7-0, things began to turn for the Huskies when John Ross made a left-handed turn around the right edge of the field.

Before he did, an unlikely figure emerged in to spring Ross free. Browning, UW’s 206-pound sophomore quarterback, cracked Arizona’s 281-pound defensive end, Calvin Allen, onto the ground with a blind-side block. The hit opened the field for Ross’ 32-yard touchdown on a double-reverse run, and opened the way for the Huskies’ comeback from a forgettable first quarter.

“The standards are so low for a quarterback blocking, that it makes it look good,” Browning said.

Before Saturday night, some wondered about the legitimacy of the Huskies’ top-10 ranking. Those questions seemed appropriate as the Arizona rushing attack gashed the Huskies’ defense early.

Dawkins, Arizona’s 6-foot-3, 210-pound sophomore quarterback, scored on a 79-yard touchdown run to give the Wildcats a 14-7 lead midway through the second quarter.

Arizona’s 170-pound true freshman running back, J.J. Taylor, added 88 yards and a touchdown in the first half. The Huskies ran just six plays (gaining 33 yards) to Arizona’s 28 first-quarter plays (for 143 yards).

It could have been worse. Give the UW defense credit for coming up with a big goal-line stand late in the first quarter, as the Wildcats (2-2) threatened to take a 14-0 lead.

Instead, the Huskies answered with an eight-play, 97-yard drive — ending with Browning’s big block and Ross’ big run. That tied the score at 7-7.

Arizona answered right back with Dawkins’ 79-yard run, aided by a key downfield block from Trey Griffey, The Kid’s kid.

Browning hit Ross in the back of the end zone to make it 14-14 later in the second quarter.

UW kicker Cameron Van Winkle’s 45-yard field-goal attempt hit off the left upright as time expired on the first-half clock, keeping the score tied at the half.

Browning threw an interception near the Arizona goal line late in the third quarter, and Van Winkle missed another field goal, from 40 yards, early in the fourth quarter — two prime opportunities to extend the lead, both squandered.