The Arizona Wildcats have played their way into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA men's basketball...
Cats Seek to Carry Momentum into Washington Game
Arizona heads to Seattle to take on the Washington Huskies at Husky Stadium on Oct. 29. The game will be shown live on FSN beginning at 7:30 p.m. PDT.
Arizona will play Washington on Oct. 29 in Husky Stadium. The game, which begins at 7:30 p.m. PDT, will be shown live on Fox Sports Net.
Arizona will work to maintain the momentum gained in its 36-point victory (48-12) over UCLA last week.
Some questions will be answered:
Did the UCLA game truly snap Arizona out of the coulda-shoulda funk it endured in its last dozen FBS games? Will interim coach Tim Kish's "let's have fun" sense of purpose keep Arizona loose? Can the Huskies maintain their 4-0 mastery at home?
The Wildcats will try to win a league game on the road for the first time since last October (at UCLA, 2010). Washington will play for bowl eligibility, while Arizona will play for the lifeline that could give it that opportunity down the road.
The Cats will get their fourth and final look at the Pac-12 North. It will be Homecoming weekend on the University of Washington campus, setting the Cats up for their own alumni fete a week hence in Tucson against Utah.
In recent years, Arizona has been able to put up some impressive offensive numbers against Washington. In the last four meetings (2007-10), the Wildcats have averaged 43.3 points and 478 totals offense yards per game against the Huskies.
The breakdown has been 148 yards on the ground compared to 330 through the air, all averaging out to 6.5 yards per play.
Last week, Arizona played some ball from the onset, scoring six touchdowns on its first six possessions to put the game out of reach before halftime in a 48-12 victory over UCLA.
The Cats won the toss, took the ball and didn't look back. UA picked up a pair of turnover touchdowns with 60-yard drives in that mix, plus put together four drives of around 80 yards.
Placekicker John Bonano tacked on all six point-after-touchdown kicks to give him seven consecutive (one at OSU), giving him a grip on the kicking chores. (He later socked field goals of 41 and 21 yards on his first career attempts to put 12 total points on the board.)
Early keys besides the UA's offensive persistence were answering the Bruins first-quarter touchdown drive (which cut it to 14-7) with a long UA scoring drive, and otherwise holding UCLA to 19 plays and 114 yards total on its other first-half possessions.
At the break, the Cats had 416 yards in offense to 177 by UCLA. In the end, Arizona scored six touchdowns on six red zone forays, converted 10 of 16 third downs and one fourth down, and rushed for a season-high 254 yards.
Nick Foles backed it up with 291 throwing yards and three touchdowns – all to Juron Criner – while the Cats featured five different running backs in shotgun, spread, pistol, twin and other formations.
Defensively the best news was the scoreboard, holding UCLA to as few points as it did against Northern Arizona. The Bruins picked up two of their markers on a safety with six minutes left in the game and UA's second unit on the field.
The win snapped a five-game losing streak and snapped a string of 10 consecutive losses to FBS schools. All the numbers aside, the game's outcome and process proved that college football's an emotional game: You have to have some and if you do, good things can happen.
According to Jeff Sagarin's NCAA Football ratings, Arizona's schedule ranks as the toughest in the Pac-12 and the sixth-toughest in the nation to date.
Added together, Arizona's five losses have come against teams with a combined 28-7 record. Three of those teams are ranked in the top seven spots of the AP Top 25 poll and BCS standings this week, with Stanford and Oklahoma State boasting undefeated records.
Arizona will return home to host Pac-12 newcomer Utah in the school's annual Homecoming game at Arizona Stadium on Nov. 5. Game time and possible TV information is expected to be determined this week.