clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The good, the bad & the unknown: Arizona

The Husky offense comes to life like Frankenstein on Halloween night.

Jennifer Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

The entire offense - The Husky offense finally came alive and it was a beautiful sight. I had almost forgot what it looked like to see Washington score at a reasonable pace.

The entire defense - Nothing new here, but even considering how good the Husky defense had been all season, they played at another level against Arizona. The Husky defense shut out the conference's  leading statistical offense after their first drive of the game.

Jake Browning - I have been pretty down about Browning since the Utah State game, but he was lights out against the Wildcats. He looked smooth again, left almost no plays on the table, made a couple passes that required near-impossible accuracy and even made an amazing play with his feet. The Huskies can become a contender if the Pac-12 if he can look like this every week.

Dwayne Washington - Losing him for a little while was an underrated  loss, especially when he can average nearly 20 yards per-carry and be the team's most-dangerous receiver. He confirmed that he is Washington's best pure playmaker on offense.

The receivers/tight ends come alive - The bouncing back of the Husky pass catchers after some early drops is what really got Washington's offense humming. These guys got open, made the catch and made plays with the ball in their hands for the first time in a very long time.

Play calling - It probably hasn't been fun being Jonathan Smith this season, but no matter how they did it, Washington finally had some momentum and fluidity in their play calling.

Travis Feeney - Feeney has been playing great all season but Saturday was his masterpiece. 11. tackles, 4.5 for-loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles and a pass breakup. There were times when Feeney simply looked unblockable.

Greg Gaines & Vita Vea - I was pretty worries when the Huskies' best defender (in my opinion), Elijah Qualls, went down, but Gaines and Vea stepped in and remained rocks in the middle. Arizona's deadly run game couldn't get anything up the middle all night and the interior offensive linemen were clearly frustrated.

Forced turnovers - I had a feeling the Husky defense would get back to taking the ball away after Oregon and Stanford refused  to give it up. No offense in the conference needed a little help from their defense stealing the ball more than the Huskies'.

The Bad

Obviously not much to complain about, but a couple of things.

Third down defense - They put the game away quickly enough and got turnovers to where it didn't matter, but the Husky defense continued to show that getting offenses off the field on third down is their weakness. Especially when the game was still on the line.

Game time/crowd - 8 p.m. start times just plain suck (and yes I know they are commonplace on the East Coast, but it's one of the reasons I could never picture myself living there) and I don't blame the crowd for not showing up for that late of a game on Halloween with a 3-4 team.

The Unknown

How bad is Arizona and how hard did they try? Games like this are always hard  to gauge off of. Obviously what happened was very good, but is Arizona just that bad and/or did they just lay down and the Huskies are still an offensive mess?

Has the offense found its way? This is tied into the previous unknown and I still have a ton a skepticism, but also remember that this offense struggled  to do just about anything a couple of weeks ago against an Oregon defense that is even worse than Arizona's. Regardless, the Husky offense putting things together even just a little bit could make a huge difference down the stretch if their defense can maintain their level of play.

Injury returns? When will guys like Elijah Qualls and Kevin King be  back?

How good  is Utah? I don't really know what to make of Utah, they deserve their ranking, have a great defense and running back, but I still just don't get the feeling that they are an upper-Pac-12 team. Are they truly a dominant team that can come into Husky Stadium and dominate Washington Stanford style, or are they just a good Pac-12 that has gotten some scheduling breaks who are more  than beatable?

Can Washington get two more wins? It has been a long time since Husky fans have had to sweat out bowl eligibility, but I have a feeling November is going to be very sweaty in Seattle. Can the Huskies find two wins in a fairly tough slate and get to a bowl game in a season where most didn't think they could going in?