Noah Fifita looked ready for his first career start in the loss to No. 7 Washington.
The redshirt freshman was the first Arizona quarterback to make his first start against a Top 10 team since Richard Kovalcheck against Cal in 2004.
Fifita started the game going 2 for 5 and then settled into the game and rattled off nine straight completions. During that streak he found Jacob Cowing in the corner of the end-zone to get Arizona on the board and to stop the bleeding from Washington. He continued through the game getting the ball out fast and allowing his playmakers to make yards after catch.
“If you look at the way he handled himself, no one would have ever known it was his first college start”, Jedd Fisch said. “He was everything we expected him to be.”
Fifita was only sacked twice and avoided multiple sacks with Washington defenders surrounding him. He showed his lower body strength by spinning off of Huskies defenders and turned losses into positives multiple times.
“I thought his decision-making was excellent. I thought he used his legs at the right time, Fisch said. “I thought he was very accurate on most of his throws.”
Fifita went 27 of 39 for 239 yards, throwing three touchdowns and one interception. With all the good there was still some growing pains from Fifita in the game.
“We had one penalty for 12 men in the huddle, that’s something you learn from,” Fisch said. “We had one time he tried to audible and we had a false start. Couple of penalties there.”
The one interception he had, Fifita was wrapped up by a Husky and was trying to avoid a sack and flipped it to Tanner McLachlan and Washington picked it off.
“Those are things that we all talk about, regardless of the quarterback we can’t be careless with the football, and that was the one time there that I would say we want that back,” Fisch said.
Fisch all week talked about not changing anything in the offense and after the game gave credit to the preparation of his quarterback room during the week.
“To come in and that be his first time starting, to go against a top-10 team, for it to come down to the end like that, I don’t think you can ask much more of him,” McLachlan said.