University of Washington

UW Huskies vs. Arizona Wildcats: What to watch for

WASHINGTON (4-2, 1-2 Pac-12) vs. ARIZONA (4-1, 2-0)

When: 8 p.m. PT, Saturday

Where: Arizona Stadium

TV: Fox Sports 1

Radio: KOMO-AM 1000/FM-97.7

Outlook: Washington is coming off a disappointing 23-13 loss against Stanford last week while Arizona has won four straight games since falling to Hawaii in its season opener.

The Huskies are looking to bounce back from a game where they gave up 482 yards of total offense. UW has some adjustments to make offensively, too. Aaron Fuller caught nine passes for 171 yards against the Cardinal, but no other wide receiver caught more than a single pass. UW will be without redshirt freshman running back Richard Newton, who injured his foot against Stanford.

The Huskies’ run defense will be tested against Arizona. The Wildcats are second in the Pac-12 in rushing yards per game with 221 while UW’s run defense ranks sixth in the conference. The Huskies are allowing 146 rushing yards per game.

Arizona’s Gary Brightwell has 295 yards and four touchdowns on 44 carries. J.J. Taylor, who missed the Wildcats’ game against UCLA with an injury, has rushed for 217 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries. Taylor was an All-Pac-12 first-team selection and a third-team AP All-American last season. Quarterback Khalil Tate is Arizona’s second-leading rusher.

The Wildcats have three receivers with more than 200 yards on the season. Tayvian Cunningham has caught 20 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns. Jamarye Joiner has 14 catches for 207 yards and a touchdown while Cedric Peterson has 11 receptions for 206 yards and a touchdown. Peterson averages 18.7 yards per catch.

Defensively, Arizona gives up 477.8 yards per game, which is 11th in the Pac-12. The Wildcats also allowed 29.4 points per game. Arizona gave up an average of 43 points in the first two games of the season. Since then, the Wildcats held Texas Tech and UCLA to 17 and 14 points, respectively, before defeating Colorado 35-30 last week.

UW players to watch: The Huskies’ wide receivers will have something to prove after a disappointing showing against Stanford. The group will be looking to respond to the criticism it’s faced all season. And will some of the younger receivers get more playing time? We’ll soon find out.

Arizona player to watch: Tate. Arizona’s dynamic quarterback is dangerous on the ground and through the air. He’s completed 81-of-120 passes for 1,088 yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions. He’s also rushed for 261 yards and two touchdowns on 36 attempts. Tate averages 7.3 yards per carry.

Keep an eye on: The red zone. UW has scored a touchdown on just 13 of its 25 trips to the red zone. That’s 52 percent. In the losses to Stanford and Cal, the Huskies settled for field goals in the red zone four times.

Lauren Kirschman is the UW Huskies beat writer for The News Tribune. She previously covered the Pittsburgh Steelers for A Pennsylvania native and a University of Pittsburgh graduate, she also covered college athletics for the Beaver County Times from 2012-2016.
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