Returning to action in week five of the 2023 football season, Arizona Football (3-1, 1-0) will have a significant challenge as they take on No. 7 Washington (4-0, 1-0).
And just like that, we are now into week five of the 2023 season as Arizona Football resumes conference play against one of the best teams in the Pac-12.
Entering this one 3-1 (1-0), the Wildcats have a significant challenge on its hands as they take on the highly-touted No. 7 Washington Huskies.
Coming in, the Huskies have been rolling, outscoring its opponents 199-68 through four games. They are one of the best teams and offenses in the country for a reason, and Arizona will be tested mightily.
We will see if Arizona can bring the magic and somehow score the upset. However, it will be a daunting task and quite a few things will need to go their way!
With that said, here is our preview of Arizona’s game against Washington!
Getting to Know the details of Arizona Football’s opponent, the Washington Huskies.
Team: Washington Huskies
Head Coach: Kalen DeBoer enters his 2nd season with the Huskies after taking over for Jimmy Lake, DeBoer has been a godsend to the Huskies, leading Washington to a 15-2 (8-2) record in two years thus far.
Overall, he is 94-11 as a head coach after putting together impressive previous stints with Fresno State (2020-21) and Sioux Falls (2005-09).
2022 Record: Finishing 11-2 (7-2) in 2022, Washington ended its season with seven straight wins including a 27–20 win over Texas in the Alamo Bowl.
Key Returners / Starters:
Using a pass-heavy offense, Washington is led by veteran quarterback and Heisman hopeful, Michael Penix Jr.
The former Indiana transfer has had a monstrous start to the 2023 season, already having thrown for 1,636 yards and 16 touchdowns to just two interceptions while completing 103 of 138 passes (74.6 percent) through four games.
Penix also uses what might be the best-receiving corps in the Pac-12. Spreading the field, look for Jalen McMillan, Rome Odunze, and Ja’lynn Polk to generate a majority of the targets. Tight End Jack Westover is quite the red zone threat as well, as he already has four touchdowns on just 11 receptions.
In the backfield, Wildcat fans will mostly see former Mississippi State transfer Dillon Johnson along with Tybo Rogers and Will Nixon. These three will get a majority of the work, and they are threat to bust a big run every time they touch the ball. Out of the backfield, they also serve as more than formidable pass catchers for Penix to use in check down situations.
Overall, this offense is prolific, averaging an astounding 593.3 yards and 49.8 points per game. Arizona’s defense will be tested significantly, particularly the secondary. We will see how “improved” our defense REALLY is.
Defensively, this is a group that has been better than anticipated. Running a 4-2-5, they are mostly led by a bevy of playmakers that include Dominique Hampton, Edefuan Ulofoshio, Carson Bruener, and Jabbar Muhammad among several others.
The Huskies love to mix up pass coverages and give opposing offenses different looks, so assuming Noah Fifita is under center for the Cats, the redshirt freshman will be tested heavily in what will be his first NCAA start.
Along the defensive line, Washington does get a heavy push up front from Zion Tupuola-Fetui, Voi Tunuufi, Bralen Trice, and Jacob Bandes most notably among others.
Overall, this will be Arizona’s toughest test to date on defense, and we will see how the Wildcats respond against a deeper and more talented group.
Game information and details for Arizona Football:
When: Saturday, September 30th, 2023
Time: 7:00 PM MST
Watch: Pac-12 Network
Where: Arizona Stadium – Tucson, AZ (50,782)
Overall Series Record: 25-11-1 Washington. Having dominated this head-to-head series, the Washington Huskies have won six straight against the Wildcats including eight of the last 10. Arizona’s last win came in 2014 when the Wildcats won a 27-26 nail-biter.
Last Meeting vs. Arizona: The last time these two teams met was in Seattle last season where the Huskies came away with a convincing, 49-39 win over the Wildcats.
My Prediction: Washington 45 Arizona 28 – This is a different Washington team from a year ago. They are bigger, deeper, and more experienced, and despite Arizona’s improvements as a team overall, this is easily one of the best teams they will face this season and is the start of a seven-game gauntlet where the Wildcats will likely be the underdog in all of them.
Look for Washington to start fast and coast to the comfortable win in Tucson.