Arizona Football

Reliving Arizona Wildcats’ five greatest wins over Washington Huskies

Time to wave goodbye to Washington, for now.

Arizona’s last regular-season Pac-12 game against Washington is on Saturday night at 7 at Arizona Stadium.

The Wildcats are moving to the Big 12 and Washington to the Big Ten starting next season. The next time they will possibly play — who knows when? — will be a non-conference game.

They have been part of the Pac-10/12 together since Arizona joined the conference in 1978.

The scoreboard shows the final score of Arizona's upset win over No. 1 Washington with the fans celebrating on the field (YouTube video capture)
The scoreboard shows the final score of Arizona’s upset win over No. 1 Washington with the fans celebrating on the field (YouTube video capture)

Here is one person’s opinion of Arizona’s top five wins over Washington:

5. Arizona 48, Washington 41, Husky Stadium, Oct. 27, 2007

Willie Tuitama passed for a school-record (at the time) 510 yards, including a 27-yard strike to Mike Thomas with 2:02 left to rally Arizona to a stunning come-from-behind win.

Tuitama directed the Wildcats 80 yards in 11 plays, capping the decisive drive with a pass to Thomas in the back of the end zone. Arizona, which trailed 41-26 with 12:32 left, scored 22 points in the fourth quarter.

Tuitama completed 38 of 51 passes and threw for five touchdowns. He topped the previous Arizona record of 492 yards by Jason Johnson against California in 2002.

Arizona snapped a three-game losing streak and took some heat off embattled fourth-year coach Mike Stoops, who used this game as a springboard to lead the Wildcats to the Las Vegas Bowl the following season.

4. Arizona 27, Washington 26, Arizona Stadium, Nov. 15, 2014

Casey Skowron kicked a 47-yard field goal as time expired to give No. 17 Arizona a wild victory.

Skowron, who also had an 18-yard touchdown run on a fake field goal, missed a first attempt wide right but the Huskies called timeout just before the kick and he got a second try.

The kicker gained redemption after missing the go-ahead 36-yarder in the final minute of a loss to USC.

Washington was running out the clock but rather than take a knee the Huskies handed the ball to running back Deontae Cooper.

Tra’Mayne Bondurant knocked the ball out of Cooper’s hands and Derrick Turituri recovered for Arizona at the Washington 45 with 1:23 to go.

The Wildcats moved to the 30 and left it up to Skowron.

Just before the winning field goal, Anu Solomon threw 34 yards to Caleb Jones, who made a tough catch in the back of the end zone for what initially was ruled an Arizona touchdown.

But replays showed Jones’ toe was on the out of bounds line and the TD was negated.

3. Arizona 16, Washington 13, Husky Stadium, Nov. 5, 1988

Arizona Republic clipping

On a rainy and cold day in Seattle, Arizona place-kicker Doug Pfaff made a 22-yard field goal with five seconds remaining as the Wildcats rallied from a 10-point deficit to beat the Huskies for the first time in the program’s history.

Pfaff’s kick (his third field goal of the game) was set up by Washington quarterback Cary Conklin’s fumble with 55 seconds left. On third-and-7 from the Washington 18, blitzing UA cornerback Scott Geyer blindsided Conklin, whose fumble was recovered by nose guard Dana Wells on the Washington 5.

After Arizona tried two running plays that gained no yardage, coach Dick Tomey called on Pfaff, whose game-winning field goal gave Arizona its first win over Washington in seven games between the two schools.

2. Arizona 31, Washington 28, Husky Stadium, Oct. 3, 1998

In the most incredible play by an Arizona player in the history of the program, quarterback Ortege Jenkins scored on a 9-yard run – somersaulting over three defenders into the end zone – with four seconds left for the victory. The Arizona media-relations department gave the play a name: “The Leap by the Lake”.

Arizona, winning for the first time in 10 years in Seattle, drove 80 yards for the winning score. Jenkins, who alternated with Keith Smith as Arizona’s quarterback, scored on a second-down play, going airborne and flipping over into the end zone.

On Arizona’s last-gasp drive, Jenkins was the quarterback for all but one play. On the fourth play, Smith replaced Jenkins at quarterback and passed 22 yards – to Jenkins – for a first down at the Washington 46. The 80-yard drive took 13 plays and went 2 minutes, 48 seconds.

1. Arizona 16, Washington 3, Arizona Stadium, Nov. 7, 1992

Washington was ranked No. 1 with an incredible 22-game winning streak, but anybody who followed college football closely that season knew Arizona belonged on the same field. The Desert Swarm was No. 1 in the nation against the run and No. 4 overall.

The Wildcats played conservatively on offense — using the run in 54 out of 66 offensive plays — and decisively won the ball-control and field-position battle behind their defense and the punting of Josh Miller. Reliable place-kicker Steve McLaughlin made three field goals.

Arizona took control in the fourth quarter with a drive from its 43 and scored the game’s only touchdown on George Malauulu’s 1-yard keeper with 48 seconds remaining. The only drama remaining at that time was Arizona’s crowd trying to rush the field before the game came to an end.

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

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