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Arizona vs. Washington score predictions

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arizona-wildcats-washington-huskies-score-predictions-analysis-preview-experts-pac12-football-2020 Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats bring an eight-game losing streak on the road with them for Saturday night’s game against the Washington Huskies. Arizona has not won in Seattle since 2007.

The game is set to kick off at 6 p.m. MT and will be aired on FOX. Here is how our staff thinks this Pac-12 inter-division clash will go. Be sure to leave your predictions in the comment section below.

Ronnie Stoffle — Washington wins 28-24

(Season record: 1-0)

OK, so things might not be as bad as I originally anticipated for this team in this mess of a season. I was not optimistic at all leading into last week’s game. The opening-drive interception which lead to an easy touchdown for USC solidified those feelings.

But then Arizona really pulled together as the game settled in and it was beautiful to watch. We knew going into the season that the offense would be asked to really keep things afloat. Drilling down on that thought, we also knew that the offensive line was likely the most experienced and talented position group on the team.

Both of those ideas proved true but the defense also played a decent game in spite of allowing 34 points. That was easily the most excited I had been watching the Wildcats since they traveled to Colorado last season.

All of that to say, it’s very important to maintain rational perspective. Arizona is still in an odd spot defensively but the offense is what we thought it could be. But Washington is very talented especially in their secondary which will be tough for Gunnell and the passing game. It was clear last week that the receivers struggled to create separation.

The good news is Washington has a lot of inexperienced players (e.g. - quarterback Dylan Morris) which should allow for the opportunity to keep things close. Ultimately I believe Washington pulls it out purely based on their upper-hand in talent. However, it would not shock me if Arizona gets its first win in Seattle since 2007.

Brian J. Pedersen — Washington wins 30-17

(Season record: 1-0)

Arizona threw an interception and gave up a touchdown less than three minutes into the opener against USC, conjuring up images of all the slow starts from 2018-19, only to bounce back and make a game of it. The Wildcats can't afford to do that on the road, even though there won't be a crowd on hand to add to the drama.

Washington is going to heavily test Arizona's revamped defense, which if it wears down again like against USC will be in deep trouble. And the Huskies D is far more disciplined than USC, so avoiding mistakes is critical.

This game is winnable, but not likely to be a won.

Christian Mortensen — Washington wins 24-20

(Season record: 1-0)

I was pleasantly surprised when Arizona gave USC everything they could handle last weekend at Arizona Stadium, but I’m not going to put too much stock into that performance and all of a sudden pick the Wildcats to beat Washington on the road in Seattle in Week 2.

The Huskies ran ALL OVER Oregon State in their first game of the 2020 season — posting 267 yards on the ground on 51 carries, and in the end UW ran for three touchdowns and an average of more than 5 yards a carry against the Beavers. Their trio of backs; Richard Newton, Sean McGrew and Kamari Pleasant combined for 193 yards on 36 attempts.

On the other hand, Arizona also allowed more than 5 yards per carry against USC – allowing 173 yards on 32 attempts. And the Cats allowed three touchdowns on the ground — the exact same number Washington scored via the run against Oregon State.

So, if the UA has any hopes of a win this Saturday, they are going to need to stop the run better than it did in Week 1 against USC and force Washington’s redshirt freshman quarterback, Dylan Morris, into making some plays down the field. Morris didn’t throw a touchdown against OSU and posted just 141 yards on 14 competitions. He rarely threw the ball down the field against the Beavers.

Defensively, Washington also seems to struggle against the run, so a big day from Gary Brightwell Jr and company will be needed for Arizona to keep this one close or for the Cats to snag a win.

Ultimately though, I see Arizona once again hanging tight before Washington’s potent running attack proves to be too much for the Wildcats to come away with a win.

Adam Green — Washington wins 24-20

(Season record: 1-0)

One of the biggest issues when trying to predict games right now is the fact that we don’t know much about many of these teams. Like Arizona, Washington has played just one game. Like Arizona, Washington has changed considerably since the teams last met in 2019.

Like Arizona, their game last weekend was surprising. Unlike Arizona, however, whereas the Wildcats looked better than expected the Huskies looked worse.

What does it mean? Quite possibly nothing. One game is hardly a trend, meaning Saturday’s tilt in Seattle could go a number of different ways.

The guess here is Washington’s offense, which looked pedestrian against the Beavers, will not light up Arizona’s thin defense. However, the Huskies’ defense, normally excellent, will do well enough against Arizona to limit the scoring.

This one will be close, and if it was being played in Tucson I’d give the Cats the edge. But it’s a road game, so it would be unfair to expect a W.

Ryan Kelapire — Washington wins 31-24

(Season record: 1-0)

I’m excited to see how Arizona’s defense will hold up against a Washington offense that makes it no secret that it wants to pound the ball between the tackles. Heck, Jimmy Lake even wore a “Run the damn ball” hat to his press conference this week.

Arizona did a nice job defending the run in the first half against USC, but fell apart as the game went on. Which version will show up in Seattle?

Offensively, the Wildcats have the better quarterback, which means a chance to win. But will the offensive line hold off a stingy pass rush long enough to give Grant Gunnell time to find the open receivers? If not, this could get really ugly. Washington has one the best secondaries in the Pac-12—maybe the best—and no doubt could come away with a few takeaways if Gunnell is constantly under pressure.

I’m generally not optimistic Arizona can do all these things to win, but I do think they will keep it within one score, which would be another step in the right direction.

If you remember (though you’re probably trying to forget) Arizona has had several uncompetitive performances on the road under Kevin Sumlin. If they have another in Seattle, it will undo all the goodwill they earned against USC.