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Arizona defense encouraging in loss to Washington

Avinash Kunnath of Pacific Takes asked us what has gone right, and we gave a unanimous answer.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The most encouraging thing about the Arizona - Washington game was ___________ because _____________________.

Kevin Zimmerman: No doubt the defense. And if you told me the offense would look so awful yet split the time of possession, I'll take giving up 31 points to a team that I think it very legitimately in the top-25. I suppose we'd have a better read on it all if Keith Price wasn't dealing with the rain and had more of a passing attack available, but I think the run defense was still decent enough even though Bishop Sankey had a really nice evening.

Jason Bartel: The defense because they actually held the Washington offense in check for a good chunk of the game.  Looked like they wore down late in the game and started letting the Huskies receivers get loose, but for the most part, the defense as a whole looked really good.  Jourdon Grandon is the exception, he did not look good at all.  But some big plays from Shaquille Richardson and a couple other guys were very encouraging.  The group as a whole looks so much better than last year.

Adam Butler: The defense. It has been a huge question mark whether or not they could improve from last season and for about 75% of that game, Arizona's defense did a very solid job in stopping the Huskies. Sure the weather played a factor but the Dawgs were getting good field position after good field position and were turned away to the tune of an 11-7 halftime score.

By the numbers

Courtesy of the ESPN's Pac-12 blog, the national rankings for some defensive statistics:

Scoring defense

2. Oregon, 11.8 
9. Arizona, 14.3 
11. Washington, 14.8 

Total defense

10. Washington, 287.8 
14. USC, 306.8 
21. Oregon, 331.2 
23. Arizona, 335.0 

Yards yielded per play (FBS foes only)

3. Washington, 3.54 yards per play 
7. Oregon, 4.08 
14. Arizona, 4.47 
18. UCLA, 4.57 
25. USC, 4.81 
28. Stanford, 4.85 

Pass-efficiency defense

3. Washington 
7. Oregon 
11. Arizona 
19. USC 
25. UCLA