TUCSON, AZ – Rallying, after being down by as many as 18, Arizona Football (3-2, 1-1) battled but came up short against No. 7 Washington (5-0, 2-0).
After falling behind 14-0 early, Arizona Football never quit on Saturday night as they competed all four quarters with the visiting No. 7 Washington Huskies.
Holding Washington to a season-low 31 points, 474 yards, and 363 passing yards, unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as the Wildcats fell to the Huskies by a 31-24 final.
Much like its previous games this season, the Wildcats started slow, weathering a hot start by the Huskies as redshirt freshman Noah Fifita finally settled in.
Finishing the game with 232 yards passing and three touchdowns to just one interception on 27-39 passing (69.2 percent), Noah looked more like a seasoned veteran rather than someone making his start.
And despite trailing 14-0, Noah and the Wildcats finally got things going in the second quarter when they drove 75 yards on 12 plays that ended in a touchdown pass from Fifita to Jacob Cowing to make it 14-7.
Unfortunately, Washington would respond with yet another touchdown, making it 21-7.
Getting the ball with 3:31 left to play, Arizona would have a chance to score again, and luckily, the Wildcats were able to find a bit of an offensive rhythm driving 62 yards on 12 plays before settling for a field goal to make it 21-10.
Trailing 21-10 at halftime, Arizona Football would need to clean up a lot of their mistakes in the second half if they hoped to score the upset in this one.
Giving Washington the ball to start the half, the Wildcats’ defense finally stepped up in a big way as they held the Huskies to a quick three-and-out.
Unfortunately, Arizona’s offense couldn’t capitalize, giving the ball back to Washington as they marched 84 yards on seven plays to make it 28-10.
With things starting to get out of hand, Arizona’s offense responded in a big way as they drove 75 yards on seven plays that ended in a touchdown from Noah to Tetairoa McMillan to make it 28-17.
Responding with an 11-play, 55-yard drive, Washington would put themselves in scoring position again, but Arizona’s defense came up big, holding the Huskies as Washington had to settle for a field goal, making it 31-17.
Receiving the ball once again, Arizona would have an opportunity to make this a one-score game, but Noah would make a mistake, tossing an errant throw that was picked off.
Luckily, the defense stood tall! With Washington driving, the Wildcats would get a major break, forcing a fumble deep in their territory, giving the offense another chance.
But a turnover on downs would give the ball right back to Washington.
With a chance to put this one away for good, Arizona’s defense stood tall once again, forcing a punt by the Huskies that gave Arizona’s offense another chance.
Trailing 31-17, Noah and the Cats drove 90 yards on 11 plays that ended in another touchdown from Noah to T-Mac to make it 31-24 with 1:08 to play.
Trying for an onside kick following the touchdown, Arizona would put forth a great effort, unfortunately, they came up just short as Washington recovered, successfully running out the clock to escape Tucson with a win.
With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 3-2 (1-1) on the year and will turn its focus to USC next week as Arizona will travel to Los Angeles to take on yet another Top 10 team.