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What Grant Gunnell, Jalen Harris said after Arizona’s loss to Washington

Arizona v Washington Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats couldn’t capitalize off the momentum they built against USC last week, getting blasted by the Washington Huskies 44-27 on Saturday for their program-record ninth straight loss.

The Wildcats struggled for the first three quarters, falling behind 37-0. Grant Gunnell and company picked it up in the fourth, as he finished 27 for 39 for 259 yards and three touchdowns, though the game was well out of reach at that point.

It’s clear Arizona has a lot of work to do before next Saturday’s road game at UCLA and here is what Gunnell and linebacker Jalen Harris had to say after the Washington loss. (Their interviews are paired with the transcripts. Kevin Sumlin’s postgame comments can be found here.)

Grant Gunnell

Grant Gunnell post Washington

QB Grant Gunnell explains why Arizona Football's offense struggled in the loss to Washington

Posted by AZ Desert Swarm on Saturday, November 21, 2020

Gunnell on what changed in the fourth quarter: “I just loosened up. I was uptight, looking at the D-line through the first three quarters and that kind of screwed us as offense as a whole. That’s on me, so that’s probably what changed the most.”

Gunnell on if Washington’s defense was different than expected: “They showed us exactly what we thought we were gonna see. I mean, we thought we’d see a little more split safety.”

Gunnell on the offense’s struggles: “We’d get the first first down and then we’d stall. It was always the second first time we couldn’t get in. Like I said, I was looking at the D-line. I was worried about pressure and that screwed us as on offense because I wasn’t stepping in my throws. I was fading away.”

Gunnell on RB Michael Wiley and WR Ma’jon Wright scoring their first career touchdowns: “I’m happy for them. They’re working their tail off, they’re great players, they’re DI players and they get the first touchdown and they’re excited. It sucks we lost and everything but I’m excited for them. They deserve it.”

Gunnell on what impresses him about Wright: “Just his drive as a football player. He’s a football player. He’s not some guy that’s out there to be on the camera or anything. He wants to be on the field catching balls. He’s a player, he’s a dog. He’s gonna get in your face, he’s gonna beat you off the press and stuff like that. That’s what impressed me the most.”

Gunnell of if he has ever lost this many games in a row: “In my whole football career up into college, I have not. I don’t think I’ve ever lost more than two games in season, so this is my first time going through this and we’re doing everything we can. We’re pushing, we want to win and I’m telling you we’re gonna win. It’s falling into place and it’s going to happen. When it does it’s going to click.”

Gunnell on if they can build on that fourth quarter moving forward: “Yeah, it’s good to take those points into the next game and the week, but those first three quarters are disappointing. But we’re gonna forget about those and look at the positives and negatives and we’ll use it for next week or next game.”

Gunnell on why he stayed in the game when it was out of hand: “I’m not gonna quit on the team because I know the team wouldn’t quit on me. So I will stay in the game, just keep pushing, keep making positives out of a negative and use the positives going to next week.”

Gunnell on why he appeared to be so frustrated: “I mean, I was mostly just frustrated with myself. I wasn’t playing how I need to play. I was worrying about things that didn’t even need to be worried about. I not making throw, so yeah I was 100 percent just frustrated with myself. I need to work on that. I need to play the next play.”

Jalen Harris

Jalen Harris post Washington interview

Here's linebacker Jalen Harris after Arizona Football's loss to Washington

Posted by AZ Desert Swarm on Saturday, November 21, 2020

Jalen Harris on Washington using play-action passes early: “We thought they would change it up because they wanted to run first, so we knew they’d probably think we’re preparing for that, and so they even showed play action. We just got to do our job. “

Harris on head coach Kevin Sumlin’s postgame message to the team: “I would just say he was very positive. We have to build on this, take the positives and remember how this feels and just build on. We need to be prepared better and become better.”

Harris on the positives for the defense: “I would say in the beginning of the game, I think we stopped the run. I think we did a good job. But other than that, we just need to focus on our job and play hard.”

Harris on how Arizona’s can bounce back from this: “We got to keep playing hard and play for each other, so I think that’s the most important part and remind each other why we’re playing this game and we’re all competitors. So I think we need to go hard at all times.”

Harris on what’s next: “I would say that we know we’re good enough to play with anybody, so it’s just about putting it together and doing what we need to do to get the job done and come out with a win.”

Harris on defensive coordinator’s Paul Rhoads’ postgame message: “His message was we what we have to do to fix it and it starts with preparation. So it doesn’t start on Saturday, it starts on Sunday. When we get back, you gotta take care of your body and be ready to go and prepare for next week.”