Observations: UA vs. UW

Arizona lost to Washington on Saturday for numerous reasons. Read on to see what the loss taught us about the Wildcats.

We learned a lot about Arizona as it fell to Washington in rainy Seattle. Here were the main takeaway points from Saturday night.

  • Any and all concerns with B.J. Denker were magnified greatly. The rain and wind didn't do him any favors (and it's not like Keith Price put up huge numbers himself), but the simple fact is that Denker isn't going to win any games for the Wildcats by himself the way Matt Scott did last season. He just doesn't have the arm to keep up in the Pac-12.

    Denker just about refused to stay in the pocket all night long. The offensive line did a pretty decent job in pass protection despite not being at full strength, and Denker wasn't able to take advantage.

    There were opportunities down the field when receivers had separation from UW's secondary, but Denker either didn't see them or under-threw the ball.

  • As far as the run game goes, Ka'Deem Carey had a great night. It's unreal how talented and how strong he is.

    And at the same time, if Denker reads the defense correctly just a couple times, both Ka'Deem and himself have even bigger numbers on the ground.

    Denker's decision to pull the ball towards the end of the first half was huge. Other than that, it seemed like Denker struggled with reads throughout the night.

  • It's not like there weren't any positives to take away from the game. The defense, for the most part, was phenomenal. Yeah, it wore down midway through the second half, though that was more a product of the offense basically going 3-and-out the first 25 minutes of the game.

    Shaq Richardson played his best game as a Wildcat. Scooby Wright continued to impress. Jake Fischer continued to be solid before limping off with an injury. The defensive line did a solid job getting pressure on Keith Price even if they didn't come away with any sacks.

    It's impressive how far along Jeff Casteel has brought his unit over the past nine months or so, and it'll be fun to see the young guys continue to develop for years to come as they continue getting familiar with the system.

  • Special teams play was pretty bad. It is curious that Drew Riggleman wasn't wearing gloves in the pouring down rain, but the ball that slipped through his hands and into the back of the end zone was costly.

    When Riggleman did get the ball away, his rugby-style punts were mostly unsuccessful. It seemed Washington started nearly every drive around the 40 while Arizona was frequently backed up inside its own 20.

    Jake Smith also missed an extra point just seconds after it seemed Arizona finally had a bit of momentum. The weather played a role in it, but Saturday's showing was the worst of the year for UA.

  • While the loss was tough, the upcoming schedule could provide Arizona with some optimism.

    Rich Rodriguez will have a chance to work some things out during the bye week before heading to So Cal to take on a USC team searching for its identity.

    Then come three games in which UA has a good chance to win (Utah, at Colorado and at California).

    If the Wildcats can head into the UCLA game on Nov. 9 with a 7-1 or 6-2 record, they'll be in a great position as the meat of the schedule arrives.


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