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Arizona vs. Washington: First look at the Huskies

The Desert Dogs return to Tucson

NCAA Football: Southern California at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats (4-1, 2-0) returns home riding a four-game win streak after a huge road win against Colorado. They now shift their focus to the reigning Pac-12 champion Washington Huskies.

Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday, October 12, at 8:00 p.m. PT. The game will be televised on FOX Sports 1.

Here’s a quick look at the Huskies.

2019 Record: 4-2 (1-2)

Key Games:

  • Week 2 loss vs Cal (20-19)
  • Week 4 win at BYU (45-19)
  • Week 5 win vs USC (28-14)
  • Week 6 loss at Stanford (23-13)

Key Offensive Players: Jacob Eason (QB), Salvon Ahmed (RB), Aaron Fuller (WR), Trey Adams (LT)

Key Defensive Players: Josiah Bronson (DT), Brandon Wellington (LB), Ryan Bowman (LB), Myles Bryant (Safety)

The last time Washington visited Tucson, they avoided an upset but required overtime to do so. That 35-28 loss in 2016 was the start of a miserable conference schedule for Arizona where they went on to win only one game.

As for Washington, they went on to win the Pac-12 championship which was the first of two over a three year span.

Chris Petersen’s squad is off to a rocky start to conference play this year. They enter this matchup with a 1-2 Pac-12 record with a road loss most recently against Stanford.

The offense is run by a Jacob for the fifth straight season but this year it’s Jacob Eason instead of Jake Browning. Eason is a junior transfer from Georgia. Through the first half of the season, he has recorded 1,449 yards and 11 touchdowns while completing 65.7 percent of his passes.

Eason’s favorite target has been Aaron Fuller who leads the team in receptions (36), receiving yards (498) and receiving touchdowns (four). Tight end Hunter Bryant has also been a productive target with 24 receptions and 342 receiving yards.

Their running attack has been balanced between Salvon Ahmed and Richard Newton. Ahmed has a small lead over Newton on total rushing attempts with 67 to 64. However, Ahmed has been far more productive with 427 total rushing yards and an average of 6.4 yards per attempt.

Newton’s numbers are nothing to scoff at, though. He is averaging 5.1 yards per carry and has twice as many rushing touchdowns than Ahmed with six.

Defense has been a strength of Petersen’s teams over the years. Through the first five games, the Huskies ranked 45th in Total Defense with 340.6 yards per game. However, after Saturday night against Stanford, that number inflated to 364.2 yards per game.

Stanford dominated time of possession with 39:01 to 20:59. As a result, Washington allowed 482 total yards. They only allowed 23 points but couldn’t get anything going offensively.

Key names to know from the Huskies’ defensive front seven are defensive lineman Josiah Bronson linebackers Brandon Wellington and Ryan Bowman. In the secondary, safety Myles Bryant is likely to be the next NFL first rounder.

Leading into the season, this matchup felt like a sure-fire loss for the Wildcats. Now it feels like there’s a decent chance at victory.

Washington is overall more talented but home field advantage is in UA’s favor and they have momentum with their current win streak.

If the Wildcats are able to limit Washington’s rushing attack and force Jacob Eason to beat them with his arm, UA could be looking at extending the win streak to five.