As always, our postgame tale of the tape.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME -- Dwayne Washington played the best game of his career, rushing for 148 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. He provided the consistent tailback presence the Huskies have been searching for all season, and looked as if he could step into the featured back role with Shaq Thompson now back at linebacker.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME -- Hard to give both the offensive and defensive player of the game honors to players from the losing team, but that's kind of the way this game went. Freshman cornerback Sidney Jones recorded the first two interceptions of his career, including what seemed to be a pretty big one in the end zone with 4:25 to play that could have been the difference in the game. Could have. Danny Shelton also gets a nod for his team-leading nine tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss. Jared Tevis had 14 tackles and a sack for Arizona.
PLAY OF THE GAME -- Deontae Cooper's fumble with 1:23 remaining was obviously huge, as was Casey Skowron's 47-yard field goal to win the game. But really, UW coach Chris Petersen's decision not to simply have Cyler Miles take three kneel-downs was as big as anything. The Huskies snapped the ball on first down with 1:33 remaining and seven seconds still showing on the play-clock, meaning they could have waited until 1:28 remained to run the play. Miles could have taken a knee, at which point Arizona likely would have called its final timeout. Let's say that puts the clock at 1:25 with second down upcoming. That leaves 85 seconds on the clock. Assuming the Huskies would have snapped the ball on second and third down with one second remaining on the play clock, you can knock 78 seconds (39 before each play) off of that total, which brings you down to seven -- meaning that between kneel-downs on second down and third down, plus a potential fourth-down snap, the Huskies would have needed to find a way to waste only seven seconds in actual play-time. Petersen said he consulted their chart -- all coaches use them -- to help determine whether or not UW could drain the clock with kneel-downs. The chart, Petersen said, dictated that the Huskies try to get another first down, and that there were a few too many seconds remaining to completely wipe out the clock with straight kneel-downs. But any amount of creativity -- have Miles take a few extra steps backward before going to a knee, or run wide toward the sideline before falling down -- would seemingly have made up the difference.
STAT OF THE GAME -- The Huskies outgained Arizona 347-193 in the first half, but trailed 21-17 at halftime.
QUOTABLE -- "That’s how the game needs to be played. You need to go out and you need to play that hard, bring it every snap, and we did that. When you do that, then you give yourself a chance and deserve to win. That doesn’t mean you’re always going to win, but you give yourself a chance, put yourself in position to do that, and they did that. Against a good team, I kind of keep going to back to you make too many errors, too many turnovers, too many penalties, that catches up with you. Eventually it’s going to slip away. But I am proud of how hard they fought.” -- Petersen on UW's effort
WHAT IT MEANS -- Petersen is going to face more criticism this week than at any point in his head coaching career, and for good reason. But we've been over that. From an on-field perspective, this was actually probably the Huskies' most impressive performance on both sides of the ball. They totaled 504 yards offensively and bottled up what had been a pretty productive Arizona offense, including holding the Wildcats to 3-for-15 on third-down attempts. But red-zone failures again cost the Huskies dearly, and Miles' inability to simply hold onto the football continues to confound. So, too, do the shotgun snap issues. And 13 penalties for 111 yards is also cause for concern. But even with all that taken into consideration, this wasn't a game the Huskies should have lost. They finish the season without a victory over a ranked opponent, fall to 6-5 overall and 2-5 in Pac-12 play, and can only get to nine wins by winning their final two regular-season games and a bowl game.
UP NEXT -- Oregon State at Washington, Saturday, Nov. 22, 7:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks.
Christian Caple can be reached at email@example.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple