Huskies Insider Blog

Final: Arizona 48, Washington 14

No Huskies were happy after the game, but none were talking about quitting or even giving up their goals of a winning record or a bowl bid.

Here's my game story.

Some game highlights:

Player of the game

Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski had five catches for 109 yards and three touchdowns. His first score was a 37-yard pass from quarterback Willie Tuitama, which gave the Wildcats an early 10-0 lead.

Husky of the game

Defensive end Daniel Te'o-Nesheim broke through for the Huskies first three sacks of the season. He ended with eight total tackles. Washington had come into the game as the only one of the 119 Football Bowl Subdivision teams without a sack.

Turning point

The game was never competitive. But losing this coin toss was especially costly. Arizona won and deferred. Washington chose to receive, but that doomed them to playing the first quarter going into a stiff wind. Every play for the first six possessions of the game was run in Washington territory. By the time the Huskies saw the other side of the field, they were already down 10-0, and before they got the wind at their backs, they trailed 17-0.

"We made that choice in the second half, to try to give them the wind and hopefully have it in the fourth quarter," coach Tyrone Willingham said. "I thought about it (in the first half), but I thought it was probably better to take the ball there and get ourselves going.

Two more freshmen play

Washington used its 11th and 12th true freshmen of the season: tailback Terrance Dailey and receiver Cody Bruns.

Ten had played previously, and that was already thought to be a school record.

In their debuts, Dailey carried six times for 18 yards. Bruns was in for a handful of plays and didn't show up in the statistics.

Coach Tyrone Willingham and offensive coordinator Tim Lappano each defended giving up two more redshirts, citing the lack of numbers at both positions and these players ability to contribute over the remainder of the season.

Injury report

Tailback Brandon Johnson suffered a hip pointer and safety Nate Williams was in and out with back spasms. Receiver D'Ande Goodwin, who had been questionable with rib injuries, played only a single down and left the field in apparent discomfort. Safety Victor Ayiewa, who had missed the first four games with a groin injury, got his first playing time of the season. Tailback David Freeman (ankles) and safety Johri Fogerson (ankle) did not travel with the team. Quarterback Jake Locker did, and watched the game from the sidelines in his game jersey, sweatpants and a cast on his right hand.

Extra points

Two season-long streaks ended. In the first half, defensive end Te'o-Nesheim recorded the Huskies' first sack of the season. UW was the last team in the Football Bowl Subdivision to get one. In the second quarter, a Ronnie Fouch pass was deflected and intercepted. The Huskies began the day as one of three FBS teams that hadn't thrown an interception. … Through the middle portion of the game, UA quarterback Willie Tuitama competed 14 straight passes. … Tailback Nic Grigsby has scored a rushing touchdown in all five of Arizona's games … Arizona kicker Jason Bondzio hit a 49-yard field goal in the third quarter, matching the longest of his career. … Redshirt freshman tailback Willie Griffin got his first career start. … UW game captains were Te'o-Nesheim, Trenton Tuiasosopo, Michael Gottlieb and Casey Bulyca.

Next

The Huskies are off next weekend. They will return to action at 4 p.m. Oct. 18 when Oregon State visits Husky Stadium.

Heading downstairs: It's about time to head down to the field to get what are likely to be some very unhappy and increasingly familiar quotes.

I'll be back later with notes and quotes ... apparently including some words from athletic director Scott Woodward.

Start of 4th quarter: Arizona went to their reserve QB on their first drive of the third quarter. (He led them to a TD). Assuming Willie Tuitama is done for the night, he ends with 17 completions in 21 attempts for 193 yards and three touchdowns.

Meanwhile, UW appears about ready to make a QB change too. Walk-on Taylor Bean is warming up on the sideline.

5:30 in the third quarter: Even the Arizona fans seem to have seen enough. The stands are thinning out, and there are a lot of red shirts walking the streets leading away from the stadium.

Halftime: I just got a few words with athletic director Scott Woodward. He admits that he is increasingly unhappy with what is playing out on the field this season ... and obviously that first half is no exception.

However, he repeated yet again that he is not in favor of, and does not expect to make, a midseason coaching change.

Or a mid-game coaching change.

4 mintes left in the half First the Huskies' no-sack streak ended. And now they have thrown their first interception of the season, a deflected Fouch pass to Tony Chidiac.

Meanwhile Terrance Dailey was in that series, becoming the 11ths UW true freshman to play this season.

11:55 of 2nd Huskies answer first time going with the wind. Big play was a 62-yard pass reception by Jermaine Kearse ... great catch. It was the longest play surrendered by the Wildcats this season.

2nd quarter Obviously a brutal start for the Huskies. However, they have the wind with them this quarter. If they're going to get back in this, it's time.

First quarter stat: Arizona 147 total yards, Washington 50.

First quarter Daniel Te'o-Nesheim just got credit for the first sack of the Huskies season. They had been the only major college team coming into this week without a sack.

Tailback Willie Griffin got his first start. But he fumbled on the second series and was replaced by Brandon Johnson.

Kickoff UW game captains are Daniel Teo-Nesheim, Trenton Tuiasosopo, Michael Gottlieb and Casey Bulyca. ... Arizona won the toss and elected to defer. Washington will receive and begin the game going into what remains a very stiff wind.

4:27 Sitting behind me is a Rose Bowl rep, scouting Arizona, no doubt, which btw is the only Pac-10 team never to have played in the Rose Bowl game.

3:50 Army beat Tulane today, which means Washington and North Texas are the only remaining Bowl Subdivision teams without a win this season. However, Washington's six-game losing streak dating back to last season is the nation's longest.

2:50 The UW travel roster shows that starting tailback David Freeman and starting safety Johri Fogerson did not travel to Tucson due to injury.

However, leading receiver D'Andre Goodwin did, as did safety Victor Ayiewa did. And so did true freshmen receivers Cody Bruns and Anthony Boyles and tailback Terrance Dailey, who haven't played yet, but could make their college debuts tonight.

Also, as mentioned yesterday, quarterback Jake Locker traveled too, even though he won't play to night or for several weeks due follwing surgery Monday on his broken thumb.

2:30 p.m. I've arrived at Arizona Stadium, and I'm feeling exceptionally secure. Most press boxes are content to remind us that there is no cheering in the press box. Here, they also remind you that weapons aren't allowed in the press box. Nor, for that matter, are pets or skateboarding. But since I seldom pack heat in a press box, it's nice to know the competition isn't either.

While walking to the stadium it was impossible not to notice how windy it is. I mean really windy. Windy enough to impact passing games. It's warmer than the Huskies are used to, and there could be some rain by gametime. But the wind is the factor that could end up making a difference.

Meanwhile, we'll stick to our normal gameday blogging schedule. I'll pop in here with any news before the game (the travel roster could be interesting). Then keep this as a running blog through the game. Then after, I'll run down for quotes and I hope you will keep the blog going with comments. Then I'll be back for finals notes and quotes on a separate blog item.

(Reminder: Kickoff is 4:30, and on Versus (and, I assume, on Versus HD), not the usual FSN.

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