The Arizona Wildcats got a fast start. Their defense held for a half. But in what was billed to be a shootout, the Wildcats simply made too many boneheaded mistakes to keep pace with the Washington Huskies on Saturday night in Seattle, losing 42-31.
There was a passing interference penalty by freshman corner Cortez Johnson that ripped a sure-fire UA interception of UW quarterback Keith Price away from Arizona. Then, there was the Husky defense ripping away Juron Criner's ball for a fumble after a catch in the fourth quarter. And Arizona's chances went out the window when, down by 11, Foles threw an interception late in the fourth quarter that sealed the team's fate -- he threw one more with 30 seconds left.
What's left to lean upon? Ka'Deem Carey looks special. Quarterback Nick Foles set a completions record for the school. Freshman defensive back Tra'Mayne Bondurant is a play-maker who could shine once he limits his youngster mistakes.
But now what? Arizona showed it has talent. It jumped ahead 10-0 in the first quarter, but UW responded with a 21-3 spurt. It all appeared out of hand for Arizona as UW running back Chris Polk wore down the UA defense, but cornerback Robert Golden scooped up a tipped Price pass in the red zone and dipped and leaned his way for a 91-yard pick-six.
That gave Arizona hope. The Wildcats scored 15 points in the third quarter to tie the game at 28, and within a minute into the fourth, hit a field goal -- John Bonano is still perfect on the season in PATs and field goals, by the way -- to go ahead 31-28.
It wasn't meant to be. Polk rumbled, untouched, into the end zone two more times to give Washington the win as Arizona turned it over three times in the final stanza.
Polk, for the first time in school history, ran for over 100 yards and caught 100 yards of passes. He had 144 yards on the ground with 34 attempts and had exactly 100 receiving yards. The Arizona defense again struggled up front and that allowed Price too much time; he threaded the needles needed, taking the most advantage of freshman corner Johnson and late in the game, then finding a receiver as freshman nickel Bondurant, who showed flashes of play-making skills, jumped a route but ended up missing an easy tackle.
Price looked mortal, going 16-for-30 for 277 yards but not forcing anything or making huge mistakes. Foles, meanwhile, went 32-for-50 for 388 yards. 118 of those yards were to Criner, but the wide receiver's fumble ultimately sealed Arizona's fate.
In the end, this was the same story. Mistakes at the wrong times and not enough pass rush killed Arizona's shot despite their impressive offensive production.
In the end, they're just not good enough to win.