Game Analysis - UW/Arizona

The Huskies didn't make it easy on themselves, but came away with a 42-31 win over Arizona in front of 59,825 fans at Husky Stadium...

Turning Point: This was a tough decision, but the Dawgman.com staff felt it was the goal line stand early in the fourth quarter, forcing Arizona to kick their third field goal of the night and going up just 31-28 with a little more than 14 minutes. The Wildcats had first-and-goal from the Washington five and they Husky defense stiffened enough to hold them out of the endzone.

Turning Point runner-up: Three-and-out following a Keith Price interception/ On the ensuing drive, as Washington was driving toward a possible go-ahead score, Price tried to hit WR James Johnson on a slant pattern, but the junior wideout tripped, and Arizona's Trevin Wade was able to come away with the pick. Washington then was able to get a quick three-and-out and that changed the entire momentum of the game.

Turning Point runner-up number two: Will Shamburger's strip and Princeton Fuimaono's recovery to give Washington the ball with 7:14 left in the game. Arizona WR Juron Criner, who had a big night, hauling in 11 receptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns, took a short pass and made a move to get down the sidelines, but Shamburger, who continues to play really good football, came from deep in the secondary to strip the ball and Fuimaono got the ball back for the offense with the chance to extend their lead more than halfway through the fourth quarter.

Offensive Player of the Game: RB Chris Polk. Is there any question? It seems redundant to keep selecting him, but how can it be anyone but Polk who rushed for 144 yards and four touchdowns while hauling in four receptions for 100 more yards and a score. To our knowledge and those in the Washington athletic department, Polk is the first player to ever rush for 100 yards and roll up 100 yards receiving as well.

Defensive Player of the Game: LB Cort Dennison. Dennison continues to put up big numbers, racking up eight tackles and the game-ending interception. The senior linebacker struggled some against Arizona quick-passing game, but helped hold the Wildcats to just 36 yards on the ground, allowing the outside linebackers and safeties to make plays on the receivers and backs outside.

Key Stat: Two stats stick out in this game – Arizona's third-down conversions and the Husky defense allowing only one touchdown in the Wildcats' three times in the redzone. Washington played third down really well all night, save the first series, and got pressure on Foles who doesn't move very well. Washington's stop of Arizona late in the game when the Wildcats had first-and-goal from the Husky five was a big turning point in the game.

Handouts to the standouts: We'll start on the defensive side of the ball as Dennison led the way with eight tackles and an interception; Fuimaono had one of his best games of the season, totaling three tackles, one tackle-for-loss, one sack and a fumble recovery; DE Andrew Hudson had a solid game totaling two tackles and a sack. The redshirt freshman played sparingly, but made the most of his opportunities; CB Anthony Gobern stepped in for a struggling Greg Ducre and had four tackles on the night and generally provided solid coverage; WR Kevin Smith had two catches on the night, but it was his returns, especially the opening kickoff of the second-half that really helped the Huskies, giving them great field position all night; WR Devin Aguilar had only two catches for 26 yards, but it was his 33-yard pass to Polk in the second quarter was a big play and his downfield blocking was a key to a couple of Polk's runs as well as Kasen Williams' big fourth quarter catch and run that helped set up Washington's go ahead touchdown.

Needs work: The Huskies were much better than last week, but they still surrendered over 420 yards of offense and the offense turned the ball over three times, but the defense was able to force four turnovers of their own that allowed them to stop key Arizona drives late in the game.


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