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Arizona blown out at Washington for program-record ninth straight loss

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Wildcats trailed 37-0 after three quarters

arizona-wildcats-washington-huskies-college-football-final-score-highlights-recap-pac12-2020-seattle Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

The longest losing streak in Arizona Wildcats history is also an active one.

Arizona dropped its school-record ninth consecutive game on Saturday night, spotting the Washington Huskies a 37-0 cushion before making the score look somewhat respectable in a 44-27 loss in Seattle.

The Wildcats managed only 66 yards of offense through the first three quarters before waking up during garbage time, finishing with 331 for the game. That enabled Grant Gunnell, who was sacked five times and also lost a fumble, to pad his stats and finish with 259 yards and three fourth-quarter touchdowns on 27-of-39 passing.

Stanley Berryhill III had two TD catches, true freshman Ma’Jon Wright had his first career TD reception and sophomore running back Michael Wiley added a short scoring run for his first career TD. But all that happened long after the game was decided.

As has been the case far too many times during the Kevin Sumlin era, Arizona found itself in a big early hole that it couldn’t climb out of. The Wildcats didn’t manage their initial first down until late in the first quarter, and by that time they trailed 17-0, the eighth time in 26 games under Sumlin they have been behind by at least 10 points before scoring.

The Wildcats managed to reach UW territory on just one of their first eight possessions, going 2 for 13 on third down for the game.

Washington finished with 472 yards, rushing for 233 while quarterback Dylan Morris threw for 230 yards and two TDs.

Arizona’s defense looked really good on Washington’s first drive, until it suddenly didn’t. It appeared to have forced a 3-and-out when Roy Lopez stuffed the run on third and short, only to see the Huskies execute a fake punt from their own 34-yard line to keep the drive alive. Three plays later, Morris hit Puka Nacua over the middle on 3rd and 10 and he cut upfield and through the UA defense for a 65-yard TD catch and a 7-0 lead.

Following the first of five 3-and-outs by Arizona’s offense, the Huskies quickly marched from their 21 to the UA red zone thanks to several passes to tight end Cade Otton—what a concept! But the Wildcat D stepped up one faced with 1st and goal from the 1, forcing a 20-yard Peyton Henry field goal to make it 10-0 Washington with 4:58 left in the first.

Otton had seven catches for 100 yards and a TD. To put that in comparison, Arizona’s tight ends produced five catches for 62 yards and a score all of last season.

Gunnell was strip-sacked on third down on Arizona’s next possession, giving Washington the ball at the UA 9, and two plays later Sean McGrew scored on a 1-yard run to make it 17-0 with 2:48 left in the first.

Washington made it 24-0 on a 2-yard Richard Newton TD run with 8:49 left in the second quarter, capping a 13-play drive that saw the Huskies convert four times on third down.

The Huskies added a pair of third-quarter TDs, missing a two-point conversion in between only because Jaxen Turner laid out UW punter Race Porter just short of the goal line. Washington missed a 47-yard field goal late in the third, giving Arizona its best field position at its own 29 to set up its first scoring drive.

Arizona finally got on the board with 12:54 left on a 30-yard TD catch by Berryhill, then true Wright hauled in an 11-yard TD pass with 9:28 to go. Wiley had a 3-yard TD run with 4:54 left, then Berryhill caught a 24-yard TD pass with 33 seconds remaining.

Arizona continues its road trip next Saturday when it faces the UCLA Bruins in the Rose Bowl. The Wildcats haven’t won in Pasadena since 2010 and the Bruins (1-1) nearly won at Oregon on Saturday.