Expectations were heightened after Arizona and its defense showed promise last week in a 34-30 loss to USC. Those expectations vanished quickly when Arizona got off to a horrendous start against Washington that snowballed into a 44-27 thrashing.
Arizona never led in the game, falling behind 17-0 in the first quarter giving all the momentum to the Husky sideline.
The offense found its rhythm in the fourth quarter, outscoring Washington 27-7 and making the game look closer than what it was.
There wasn’t many positives to take away from the game. Here’s what we learned from Arizona’s less-than-inspired loss to Washington:
- Issues in the Trenches
The whole game Arizona got dominated in the trenches on both the offensive line and the defensive line. By the end of the game, Gunnell had been sacked five times and took shot after shot all night long.
The offensive line had issues; Gunnell was given little to read the field before having pressure bearing down on him. It wasn’t much better for the running game as the line could not push the Washington defensive line back to create space for the running backs.
Through the first three quarters, Arizona had 16 yards rushing; it wasn’t until the fourth quarter where the line was able to get a push leading to the team finishing with 72 yards rushing for the night.
Slow starts on the road are super common for Arizona under Kevin Sumlin.
Some deficits they’ve faced:
– 0-38 at Houston (’18)
– 0-35 at Utah (’18)
– 0-10 at UCLA (’18)
– 0-14 at WSU (’18)
– 0-14 at Hawaii (’19)
– 0-34 at USC (’19)
– 0-21 at Oregon (’19)
– 0-24 at UW (’20)
— Ryan Kelapire (@RKelapire) November 22, 2020
2. Road Game Struggles
Under coach Kevin Sumlin the team is 7-7 when playing at home and on the road; the record drops to 2-10 with the last road win coming in 2019 against Colorado.
Not only is the team struggling on the road, but they are getting themselves into massive holes early in games to try to climb out of falling behind by an average of 23.7 points before putting any points on the board.
After Saturday’s game against Washington, Arizona has now lost nine games in a row dating back to last season. It is the longest losing streak in school history.
Now, Arizona will have to find a way to end the streak and its road issues next week in the Rose Bowl against a UCLA team that took No. 11 Oregon down to the last play in a close 38-35 loss to the Ducks in Eugene.
3. Ma’jon Wright can Ball
There weren’t many positives to take away from Saturday’s loss in Seattle. However, in the fourth quarter, Arizona showed off its passing game scoring all 27 points in the quarter.
One player that shined in that quarter was wideout Ma’jon Wright finished the night with four catches for 58 yards and a touchdown, all in the fourth quarter.
Although this was against the Huskies’ second unit, Wright’s performance could be enough to cause coaches to make changes in the receiving depth chart moving forward.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com writer Troy Hutchison hails from Tucson and is a lifelong Arizona Wildcats follower. He has been involved in sports journalism over the last two years while taking communications courses at Pima Community College.