And the blunders roll.
And, well, so do the losses for the University of Arizona. It’s that simple in describing Arizona’s latest three-hour cruise that shipwrecked into another loss en route to its 19th consecutive loss.
That’s because UA couldn’t score more than 20 points in its 21-16 loss to Washington at Arizona Stadium. That’s 10 consecutive games where UA hasn’t been able to score 20 points.
Yet, Arizona was thisclose to winning, given it held a lead for about 50 minutes of the game before Washington came back from a 16-7 deficit.
Arizona continues to get near misses, but again they are misses and go into the loss column.
Of course, UA coach Jedd Fisch called it “a tough game” and, he was right, given the circumstances of events. He added “self-inflicted wounds” to the dialogue.
“We continue to get into fist fights with our hands tied behind our back,” Fisch said.
There were 10 penalties for 73 yards, a critical interception and three fourth down decisions with very little yards to get that were not taken.
“All three came back and haunted us,” Fisch said. “If we are going to turn the ball over and commit 10 penalties in a game, we’re going to be a very disappointed group in the locker room.”
And, well, Fisch said that was the case.
“We’ve got a locker room full of tears,” Fisch said. “I expect that; I expect that.
“I love the way our guys fight but on top of fighting you need execution.”
For only the second time this season, Arizona had a halftime lead and looked capable of winning what was thought to be one of the one or two winnable games left on the schedule.
Hell, a parade may have been scheduled. If so, it was going to be cancelled by the end of the second half when there was a crucial interception thrown by Will Plummer on what Fisch thought would be a “safe” call but wasn’t. And then, Arizona had a chance to stop UW late in the fourth quarter on a third and four to go, but was called for too many players on the field after a called timeout.
Yup, a called timeout. How does that happen?
As for the interception while on Washington’s side and with Arizona driving to perhaps put the game away, Plummer was set to throw a screen but intercepted by Tuli Letuligasenoa at the 29 yard line.
Six plays later, UW closed the gap to 16-14.
“I could certainly point to play calls all the time,” Fisch said when asked about the call and why not just run the ball given it had been successful most of the night. “We couldn’t have called a safer pass. We called a screen pass. It was unfortunate. If I can get it back, yes, I’d certainly call something different if I knew the result.”
The play wasn’t executed and “I’ll take the blame for that,” Fisch said.
He added he didn’t think he’d sleep much over night after not having called a run play instead.
But it was that play when the momentum shifted and Washington took over, stopping UA on its next possession and scoring on its next one.
Game all but over, except for that penalty late into the fourth quarter when UA had a chance to get the ball back with about three-plus minutes left. Again, after a UA timeout to get things situated.
“Obviously, that’s inexcusable,” he said. “It’s not something that’s even in my mind that could have happened. We need to get cleaned up, fixed.”
Everything does. How else are you going to break a nation’s-worst losing streak?
“We’re going to find a way to win one of these games moving forward,” Fisch said. “If not more than one. I believe we should win all the games we should play and that will not change. Our team believes that as well. When the time is right for us to start winning it’ll become contagious.”