The Arizona Wildcats are now 18 games into their seemingly neverending losing streak, and now they face the team that it began against more than two years ago in the Washington Huskies.
Washington (2-4, 1-2 Pac-12) blew out the Wildcats (0-6, 0-3) in Tucson in October 2019, then last November jumped out top a 37-0 lead on the UA in Seattle.
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Arizona is a 17.5-point underdog, which is its largest home spread as a dog since being 24-point home dogs to Utah in 2019 (and losing 35-7).
Does Arizona have a shot at all in this game, considering UW has lost two in a row, or can the Wildcats at least cover? Here’s what our staff thinks:
Ronnie Stoffle — Washington wins 38-3
Basketball season is almost here.
Adam Green — Washington wins 31-10
The last time Arizona played an embarrassing game, against NAU, the Cats followed it up with a competitive effort on the road against Oregon. That likely happened because of a change at QB, from Will Plummer to Jordan McCloud.
Now, with both McCloud and Gunner Cruz out for the season, Plummer is back under center for a team that desperately needs quality play from the quarterback position. This year’s Washington is not as intimidating as the Huskies we’ve seen in the past, but if the Cats can’t beat Colorado — or NAU, or UCLA, or anyone — it would be foolish to think they’ll earn a W here.
So rather than try to break it down to specific matchups or whatever, let’s just go with this: Until proven otherwise Arizona is not only a bad team, but quite possibly the worst team in the country. With that in mind, there is no reason to predict anything other than another loss.
Kim Doss— Washington wins 24-10
I have embarrassed myself enough. No more Arizona win predictions from me until they prove they can win. That stands this week despite the fact that Washington really isn’t a good team. The 2-4 Huskies have only put up more than 24 points twice this season. Like Arizona, they have a loss to an FCS team from the Big Sky, albeit to the eleventh-ranked FCS team from Montana.
Whatever is going on in Seattle, an 18-game losing streak and a QB who already lost the job once this season are even worse indicators for Arizona. After being shut out by a bad Colorado team last week, there’s no reason to give the Wildcats the benefit of the doubt here even if they are playing at home.
I don’t expect this to be a glorious display of football from either team, but I expect UW to be more proficient than Arizona. They have the No. 5 passer in the Pac-12 in Dylan Morris. Running back Sean McGrew is fourth in the league with six touchdowns to his name this season; Arizona has eight as a team. On defense, sophomore linebacker Edefuan Ulofoshio is top 10 in the conference in total tackles (5th), tackles per game (5th), assists (5th), and solo tackles (9th).
The only hope is that the time off since the NAU game was really what Will Plummer needed, but last week’s performance in the latter parts of the Colorado game doesn’t provide much reason to place a lot of faith in that. Before being lost to injury for the rest of the season, Gunner Cruz was last in the Pac-12 in passing yards per game, yards per attempt, and touchdowns by a starting quarterback. The only place to go is up, right?
Ezra Amacher — Washington wins 30-10
Arizona and Washington have the two worst turnover ratios in the Pac-12, so much of this game could come down to which team can capitalize best on the other’s mishaps. UW quarterback Dylan Morris leads the conference in interceptions with eight. I’m predicting Arizona will pick off at least one pass and turn it into a scoring drive.
UW won’t have to be too reliant on the pass game, though, as Sean McGrew is one of the most efficient running backs in the league, and he’s facing the Pac-12’s second-worst rush defense. McGrew could very well go for 200 yards on the ground. UW’s rushing attack mixed with Will Plummer’s overall mediocrity behind center should give the Huskies a comfortable win.
Brandon Combs — Washington wins 27-20
Washington doesn’t have a good offense but I believe their defense will outplay Arizona’s and just make more game changing plays.
I do expect Will Plummer to have a better showing but I don’t think it’ll be enough. However, I do believe that Arizona will finally get past the 19-point barrier.
The key here will be Arizona not shooting itself in the foot with bad red zone possessions, turnovers, and penalties. If they clean those up, who knows, they might surprise and make it even closer.
Brian J. Pedersen — Washington wins 27-13
Good teams win, great teams cover. Arizona is staring a 19th consecutive loss in the face, despite Washington looking like it’s heading for a bowl-less winter. This is definitely a winnable game for the Wildcats, but so was last week and several other contests this season, and until they show they can capitalize on a vulnerable opponent there’s no reason to pick them to win. Covering the spread is a different story, however; they are 2-1 ATS this season as a double-digit dog, and if UCLA hadn’t kicked that meaningless field goal two weeks ago they’d be 3-0.