Arizona Week 8 Recap: Family Weekend/Washington Rout

Arizona (4-3, 1-3) defeated Washington (3-4, 1-3) 52-17, at home.

Family weekend is met by bittersweet reviews, depending on who you talk to. Those whose parents traveled to campus for a visit spent quality time as a family, but were sad to see them go. Those students from further away whose parents were unable to make the journey were met with a smattering of homesickness and envy of their classmates. Whichever route the students took, it seemed to be reflected in the ZonaZoo student section. Although the meeting against the Washington Huskies was an expected
win for the Wildcats, the usually 10,000-strong student section was markedly empty. The fringes of the fan base never quite filled up and by the end of the 3rd quarter, only about a third of the students remained! It is understandable that due to Family Weekend, and the Wildcat’s previously lack-luster conference play, students may not have felt too bad for skipping out on one game. Unfortunately for them, this wasn’t a game to miss. The Wildcats dominated the Huskies in this 52-17 rout. A visibly rested Arizona team was not the first on the scoreboard, allowing a field goal by Washington’s Travis Coons 5 minutes into the first quarter. This, however, would be the last time the Huskies would hold the lead. Arizona had the next four scores (3 touchdowns and a field goal by John Bonano) and scored again with 3:20 left in the second quarter to make it 31-17 by the end of the half. One of the most impressive plays came from Richard Morrison 5 minutes into the 3rd quarter when he was able to return a punt from Travis Coons 63 yards for a touchdown. This gem of a play lead to Morrison being named Pac-12 special teams player of the week by the conference. Nominations for offensive player of the week included Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey who registered 29 rushes for 172 yards. Carey, who has been a go to running back this season, is averaging 120 yards per game. Compared to his average from last season (38.6 yards per game) and it is clear to see that Carey is being utilized more often and more effectively this season. With running backs like Carey and receivers like Austin Hill (2 Receptions for 70 yards) and Dan Buckner (5 receptions for 86 yards), Arizona has key offensive outlets necessary to get them into the post season. Another key offensive component is Matt Scott. Scott threw 4 touchdowns (to 3 receivers) and even took the opportunity to run one in himself. Scott is known for utilizing a lane when he sees one, which some people see as selfish. Scott is averaging 336 yards per game this season with a 64% completion rate. Scott has thrown 8 interceptions this season, which accounts for 2.5% of his pass attempts. One weakness for the Cats, as mentioned in previous articles, is protecting the quarterback. Scott has been sacked 12 times this season. The Cats will have to give Scott more protection if they don’t want to have a longer appearance from B.J. Denker. Denker played the final 6 minutes of Saturday’s game. It seems Coach RichRod is not quite ready to take risks with Denker seeing as in his drives, he did not once pass the ball. Granted, this could be due to inexperience or due to a desire to minimize the scoring drive on Arizona’s part. The increased stamina in the Arizona team is easy to see. Arizona was able to gain a solid lead against Washington and maintain that lead, as well as build on it. This is refreshing to see because as an Arizona fan, it is never really comforting to see the Cats ahead by a few touchdowns because they could always let that lead slip away fairly easily. The life of an Arizona fan is one of cautious optimism. From the heart of Wildcat country, Bear Down.