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Arizona-Washington game blog: Wildcats roll to biggest win ever vs. Huskies

Shane Zink Matt Scott

Shane Zink (No. 75) celebrates the touchdown run of Matt Scott in the second quarter. Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

The Arizona Wildcats played their most complete game of the season and walloped Washington 52-17 on Saturday night at Arizona Stadium.

The 52 points are the most ever scored by Arizona vs. the Huskies, and the 35-point margin of victory is the largest against Washington.

“I was really pleased with the guys’ effort tonight,” said coach Rich Rodriguez.

“I thought it was all three phases for all four quarters, which is something really we haven’t done this year. It was a really nice win.”

Arizona had 533 total yards, with quarterback Matt Scott passing for four touchdowns and rushing for another. Ka’Deem Carey rushed for a career-high 172 yards on 29 carries.

The defense came up with three turnovers and held Washington scoreless in the second half. The special teams contributed a 63-yard punt return for a touchdown by Richard Morrison that made the score 45-17 with 9:35 left in the third quarter.

All three phases, all four quarters.

“Tonight, we didn’t win many one-on-one battles,” said Washington coach Steve Sarkisian.

“They blocked better than we did; they tackled better than we did; when there was a one-on-one battle in open space, their guys usually won.”

* * *

The second-teamers clean up the end of the game as Rodriguez earns his first Pac-12 victory.

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With this game in hand, I’m headed down to the field early. Be back later with postgame stories …

* * *

Ka’Deem Carey finishes off the drive with a 2-yard run to give UA a 52-17 lead with 11:32 to play. He’s been a horse, as usual, rushing 29 times for 172 yards. His touchdown is his 11th on the ground this season, tying him for fourth on the UA single-season list.

* * *

Ka’Deem Carey with 135 yards on 25 carries through three quarters. That is his third 100-yard in a row and fifth of the season.

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Going to the fourth quarter. Arizona still leads 45-17.

* * *

It’s Arizona’s night. Washington is knocking on the door, but Keith Price throws behind receiver Cody Bruns, who reaches back and tips the pass at the goal line. Safety Jourdon Grandon picks off the pass a couple of yards deep in the end zone and returns it to the UA 29.

* * *

Arizona with loads of success against Washington in Tucson recently. Arizona won the 2008 game 48-14 and the 2010 game 44-14. Tonight: 45-17 in third quarter.

* * *

OK, now the rout is on. Richard Morrison scores on a 63-yard punt return, picking up a late block from Mark Watley on Taz Stevenson, who was closing ground on Morrison from behind.

Arizona up 45-17 with 9:35 still to go in the third quarter.

* * *

Austin Hill makes the highlight reel again. He has the team’s Stiff Arm of the Year en route to a 17-yard touchdown reception from Matt Scott. Hill makes the catch over the middle, then flattens safety Sean Parker with his left arm and goes in for the score.

Arizona leads 38-17 with 12:23 to go in the third quarter.

Hill has two TD receptions tonight, his third consecutive game with multiple scoring catches.

* * *

No harm. Ka’Deem Carey fumbles on first play of the second half, but UA gets it back one play later when Marquis Flowers, chasing down quarterback Keith Price from behind, knocks the ball loose with Dan Pettinato recovering at the Husky 43.

* * *

Washington finally forces Arizona to punt in the final minute of the first half, but the Huskies jump offsides, giving UA a first down at its 48.

That doesn’t work out well for Arizona, as Matt Scott is hit on the next play with the ball floating into the arms of Travis Feeney, who returns it 47 yards to the UA 3.

Bishop Sankey takes it in from 1 yard on third down with 13 seconds left. Arizona will lead 31-17 at halftime.

That was a big turn of events in the final minute of the half.

* * *

Not much defense in this game. Arizona responds with a 75-yard drive in three plays. Matt Scott hits Austin Hill with a 53-yard touchdown pass, wide open down the middle, for the touchdown and the longest pass play of the year for the Cats.

Arizona goes up by three touchdowns again, 31-10.

* * *

Forget that rout talk. Washington strikes back with a five-play, 75-yard drive that takes 1:02. Arizona having trouble covering star TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who catches a six-yard touchdown pass. He has five receptions for 83 yards.

It’s 24-10 with 3:41 to play in the second quarter.

* * *

Arizona is turning this into something of a rout. The Cats take a 24-3 lead with 4:43 to go before halftime on a 33-yard pass from Matt Scott, who lofts a throw over the middle to slot receiver Garic Wharton, probably the speediest player on the team.

Nobody from Washington could touch him as he darted into the end zone. That is the first career TD for Wharton, a sophomore getting a longer look tonight because of the ankle injury to Johnny Jackson.

* * *

Arizona’s previous five FBS opponents are 4-0 today (with Oregon State playing host to Utah right now), including a win by Toledo over ranked Cincinnati. The combined record of those five foes: 28-5.

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The Arizona defense, taking advantage of a suspect and injury-riddled Washington offensive line, is making some big plays.

One snap after a sack by Hank Hobson and Reggie Gilbert to force third-and-20, Taimi Tutogi pressures Keith Price into a bad throw. He doesn’t get nearly enough on a throw over the middle, and Tra’Mayne Bondurant picks it off and returns it 43 yards to the Washington 41.

Matt Scott drives the Cats to the 1, where he keeps it and gets into the end zone for a 17-3 lead with 8:19 to go in the second quarter.

* * *

Arizona pushes the lead to 10-3 with six seconds left in the first half on a 24-yard field goal by John Bonano. The Cats drove 81 yards in 10 plays, 43 of it coming on as pretty a play as you’ll see: Matt Scott, standing in the pocket under pressure, launched a deep pass down the right sideline to Dan Buckner, who made an over-the-shoulder catch.

A roughing-the-passer penalty moved Arizona half the distance to the goal, but the Cats had to settle for the field goal.

Ka’Deem Carey made a play you won’t see in the box score. On third down from the 6, he turned into defensive back to knock away a pass that Matt Scott nearly had intercepted by linebacker John Timu.

* * *

Washington takes a chunk of time off the clock but stalls at the UA 39 and has to punt. Huskies doing a good job of keeping the ball out of UA’s hands; UA doing a good job at tightening up on defense when it needs to.

* * *

The Philadelphia Eagles’ Nick Foles and San Diego Chargers’ Antoine Cason are at Arizona Stadium. Each of their NFL teams have byes this week.

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Arizona zips down field on its opening possession, establishing Ka’Deem Carey (five rushes for 39 yards) and then Matt Scott finds a wide-open David Richards for a 27-yard score along the left sideline. Arizona leads 7-3 with 7:48 to go in the first quarter.

* * *

Injury starters on offense: Addison Bachman at center, Shane Zink at guard.

* * *

Washington takes up 14 plays on its opening drive, but the Huskies come away with only three points.

They kept the drive alive with a fourth-and-3 conversion from the UA 33 as quarterback Keith Price bought some time with scrambling and hit running back Bishop Sankey near the sideline. Cornerback Jonathan McKnight had a chance to stop Sankey short of the first down, but the Sankey spun out of the tackle and picked up 6 yards.

Travis Coons eventually kicked a 43-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead with 9:49 to go in the first quarter.

* * *

Starting lineup updates: Patrick Onwuasor starts at Bandit safety for Jared Tevis. Justin Washington, who returned from a five-game suspension to play in the most recent game, at Stanford, starts at defensive end, where the Cats have had injuries.

Derrick Rainey starts at cornerback for Shaq Richardson. Not sure why.

* * *

As we mentioned earlier this week, “questionable” on the injury list UA releases on Thursday tends to be optimistic. Looks like four of five questionables — C Kyle Quinn, WR Johnny Jackson, OG Trace Biskin and DL Kirifi Taula — are out. Only Jared Tevis among the questionables might play.

* * *

S Jared Tevis, listed as questionable, is dress and went through some drills in warm-up. It would be a big help if he is able to play some tonight.

* * *

Arizona going with red jerseys, white pants and white helmets. Huskies donning white tops and white pants with gold helmets.

* * *

Arizona and Washington kick off the second half of their seasons with 3-3 records.

Which way are their seasons going to go in the back half? Tonight’s game could very well point the way.

“I think there’s quite a bit of significance,” Washington coach Steve Sarkisian told reporters earlier this week.

“We’ve been in some real hard-fought battles, and so have they. I think both teams would love to come out the second half of the season and start fast, come out and establish themselves and playing good football.

“I think both teams recognize — at least we do — recognize the significance of this one for the second half of the season and getting some momentum for the second half of the season and really playing well.”

Arizona, which is winless in three conference games, would probably take another 3-3 half of the season. That would at least make the Wildcats bowl eligible in coach Rich Rodriguez’s first season.

Talking about the challenges of the job earlier this week, Rodriguez said:

“There is nothing I have seen that discourages me or anybody on our staff that we can’t build the best program in America. I’m as optimistic today as I was when I took this job nine or ten months ago that we are going to make it happen. In fact, I’m even more excited about it now.”

Here is my prediction for tonight’s game.

* * *

Washington’s pass defense, led by cornerback Desmond Trufant, is 12th in the nation by allowing 172.67 yards per game. On the other hand, opponents are having loads of success running the ball against UW and don’t have to pass all the time.

The Cats are fifth nationally in passing with 368.33 and figures to test the Huskies through the air more than any team this season (especially considering USC went very conservative, passing only 20 times, in beating UW last week).

* * *

Sarkisian on Arizona running back Ka’Deem Carey (via the Seattle Times):

“He’s such a versatile guy. Ka’Deem is a tremendous player, he’s had a great year so far obviously running the football and what he does — but he’s such a threat out of the backfield to catch the ball, whether it’s in their screen game or the wheel route out of the backfield into the boundary … he’s a real threat that way.”

* * *

Some pregame reading:

Arizona linebacker Sir Thomas Jackson eager to take on hometown Huskies

Arizona injury update

Arizona running back Ka’Deem Carey picks up midseason All-America honors

One Tutogi is good for Arizona; two would have been better

Chuck Osborne, ‘unsung hero’ of Desert Swarm, dies at 38

Greg Hansen’s Mr. Football column at the Arizona Daily Star

Bob Condotta’s Husky Football Blog at the Seattle Times. Amazing resource on all things Washington and Pac-12.

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