The back and forth went on for most of the Arizona-Washington game. Back and forth. Back and forth… until Arizona couldn’t come back anymore.
It tried in its 49-39 loss to Washington in Seattle but it couldn’t manage to get over the top after being down 18 late in the third quarter and then only by three with just more than a handful of minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Arizona fell to 3-4 overall and 1-2 in the Pac-12.
You have to admire how Arizona played to stay close; you have to loath that it gave up 49 points to have to make it happen. Never mind all those yards.
Then again, wasn’t that what was expected? Heck, Las Vegas had predicted this game would be the highest scoring of the weekend among college games. It didn’t turn out that way, but it was darn close.
The game saw 88 points scored with plenty of offense.
The defense? Not so much … from either side.
“It’s one of those games that we knew in the end, it was gonna be, you know, who can outscore the other team,” Arizona coach Jedd Fisch said. “There were a couple of possessions in there that we didn’t get the points we needed. And they did. That’s just what it is. We’ve got to continue to work on the run. But, you know, when you’re working on one thing to stop the run, you’re gonna give up some other things. That happened today. and they’re very, you know, they’re the number one passing team in the Pac 12 for a reason.”
Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. passed for 516 yards on 36 completions in 44 attempts. He had four touchdowns. Just when there were questions about Arizona’s rushing defense, Washington exposed the passing defense.
Conversely, Washington was just better – just slightly – in stopping Arizona quarterback Jayden de Laura, who passed for 400 yards and four touchdowns.
Washington couldn’t contain him, but did just more than Arizona could contain Penix.
It was a head-swiveling game of points and big plays. Arizona fans must have loved the offense; and, well, hated the defense, save for two fourth-down stops that prevented Washington from making it a complete blowout.
So, it wasn’t – with Arizona closing within three at 42-39 until Washington raced down the field – like it had all day – to put the score as the end-of-game score.
Fisch gave credit to Washington’s offensive line for protecting Penix all afternoon.
“They run a good scheme and do a nice job,” he said. “They do a good job of making sure they’re protected. At the same token, we have to continue to improve on our rush.”
It was two consecutive games Arizona has had little effect on the opposing quarterback. Last week against Oregon, it couldn’t get to the QB and Saturday was just the same.
Still, Arizona’s defense is a concern – and will be all season, given what the first half the season has shown. Arizona will need to win shootouts. It tried Saturday, but couldn’t outlast the hosts in the final three quarters, although it did get 15 points to make it close near the end.
“Our team is very confident, and our offense is a very confident – they are a confident bunch,” Fisch said. “They believe they’re going to be able to score when you get the ball. We felt very confident we could move the ball.”