By Anthony Dion
In their most inspired effort arguably all season, the Huskies traveled to 14th-ranked Arizona and out-played the Wildcats on both sides of the ball for 60 minutes. Yet, instead of earning its first win over a ranked opponent all season, Washington (6-5, 2-5) fumbled and kicked away a win it needed to preserve bowl eligibility, if not confidence.
Ahead 26-24 with 1:32 left in the game, Huskies running back Deontae Cooper fumbled at the Washington 45-yard-line on first down. Arizona (8-2, 5-2) recovered, went 15 yards on seven plays to kick the game-winning 47-yard field goal.
Despite a significant edge in total offense, holding their opponent to 3-of-15 on third down and forcing three turnovers, Washington lost. Amid a number of miscues, which by no means exclude 13 accepted penalties for 111 yards, were one botched PAT attempt and a coaching decision by head coach Chris Petersen to run the ball instead of taking a knee, that ultimately cost the Huskies a win.
The aforementioned fumble by Cooper at the Washington 45-yard-line with 1:23 left when ball was recovered, 1:32 when the ball was snapped on first down, gave Arizona the ball and a chance to win, which it did.
Play of the Game
Casey Skowron’s game-winning 47-yard field goal edges out Dwayne Washington’s 66-yard touchdown run and Kendyl Taylor’s leaping 28-yard one-handed grab in between defenders on third-and-10 to extend a Washington drive.
Offensive Player of the Game
Dwayne Washington ran for 148 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries to lead a Husky offense that out-gained Arizona 245 to 133 on the ground. Washington’s running paced an offense that amassed 504 yards on 90 plays and 25 first downs. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention a breakthrough game by senior wide receiver Kasen Williams. Williams posted a team-high five catches for 39 yards with a long of 13. Entering the game, Williams had one catch in his previous five games.
Defensive Players of the Game
Danny Shelton and Andrew Hudson along the defensive line helped lead a unit that limited Arizona to 3.3 yards per carry. Shelton finished with nine tackles, seven solo, 2.5 for loss and a sack from his nose tackle position. The fifth-year senior Hudson was brilliant again, producing seven tackles, two for loss, and a sack. An honorable mention has to go to true freshman cornerback Sidney Jones who was targeted early and often by Arizona quarterback Anu Solomon. After being beat deep twice in the first quarter (only one pass was completed, the other overthrown), Jones returned to allow just two catches while intercepting two passes.
6 – Fumbles by Washington, three were recovered by the Wildcats
13 – Penalties committed by Petersen’s Huskies for 111 yards
4 – Three-and-out’s forced by Washington’s defense
18 – Difference in red zone points between Arizona (24) and Washington (6)
12 – Different Washington players touched the ball on offense, a season-high
Washington buck end Hau’oli Kikaha (shoulder) started and finished with three tackles against Ariona. The senior’s streak of 14 consecutive starts with a sack came to an end . . . Linebacker John Timu left the game early in the third quarter and did not return after landing awkwardly on his shoulder . . . Huskies K Cameron Van Winkle missed a 43-yard field goal in the first quarter, the ball hitting the right upright.
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