A valiant effort by the Arizona Wildcats came up just short.
Quarterback Brandon Dawkins rushed for 176 yards and two touchdowns, but the UA lost to No. 9 Washington 35-28 in overtime on Saturday night at Arizona Stadium.
The Wildcats – 16-point underdogs – came painfully close to pulling off a monumental upset. They twice rallied from seven-point deficits in the second half and forced overtime on Dawkins’ 3-yard touchdown pass to Josh Kern with 17 seconds left in regulation.
Arizona won the toss and elected to start on defense. Washington took the lead on Jake Browning’s 4-yard pass to Dante Pettis.
The Wildcats advanced to the Huskies’ 10-yard line. But on fourth-and-10 from the 11, Dawkins’ pass into the end zone for Tyrell Johnson fell incomplete.
Arizona dropped to 2-2, 0-1 in the Pac-12. Washington improved to 4-0.
FOURTH QUARTER UPDATE:
Arizona scored with 17 second left in regulation to force overtime against No. 9 Washington on Saturday night at Arizona Stadium.
Brandon Dawkins threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Josh Kern to tie the score at 28-all. Dawkins has 175 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
Dawkins put Arizona in position to tie the score with a miraculous 55-yard completion to Shun Brown. Dawkins earlier had a 56-yard run to set up a 2-yard touchdown.
With the offense sputtering until Dawkins broke looses, the defense kept the Wildcats in it. Dane Cruikshank intercepted Jake Browning inside the 5-yard line. Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles broke up a pass, leading to a 40-yard field-goal attempt that missed wide right. Flannigan-Fowles broke up another pass, leading to a punt.
After Dawkins’ 2-yard TD tied the score at 21 apiece, the defense finally broke. Lavon Coleman dashed through a gaping hole on the left side for a 55-yard touchdown with 3:25 left.
THIRD QUARTER UPDATE:
Despite a scoreless period, Arizona is hanging with No. 9 Washington.
The Wildcats trail the Huskies 21-14 through three quarters of their game Saturday night at Arizona Stadium.
Washington opened the quarter with an easy-looking touchdown drive, marching 75 yards in seven plays. Jake Browning’s keeper from 3 yards out gave the Huskies the lead.
After an Arizona three-and-out, Washington was on the verge of going up two scores. The Huskies advanced to the Wildcats’ 29-yard line. But on fourth-and-1, Jake Matthews and Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles combined to stop Myles Gaskin for no gain.
On the next series, Arizona advanced to its 48. On a second-and-10 run, freshman tailback J.J. Taylor appeared to injure his lower left leg. Trainers helped him walk off the field.
Taylor started in place of Nick Wilson, who was out because of an ankle injury. Taylor began the season as the third-string tailback behind Wilson and Orlando Bradford, who was dismissed from the team last week.
Arizona is going toe to toe with No. 9 Washington.
The Wildcats and Huskies are tied 14-14 through the first half of their game Saturday night at Arizona Stadium.
Quarterback Brandon Dawkins has passed for 70 yards and rushed for 104 – including a 79-yard touchdown.
Tailback J.J. Taylor, making his first career start, has carried 16 times for 88 yards and a score.
The second quarter began with Arizona, up 7-0, inside the Washington 10-yard line. But on fourth-and-goal from the 2, the Huskies stuffed J.J. Taylor for a 1-yard loss.
UW quickly responded with an eight-play, 97-yard touchdown drive. Speedy receiver John Ross capped it with a 32-yard touchdown run on a reverse. Instead of 14-0 Arizona, the game was tied 7-7.
That’s what Dawkins sent the crowd into a frenzy. After nearly getting tackled in the backfield, he raced past the Huskies defense for that 79-yard touchdown run. Trey Griffey gave him a boost near the end with a huge block on Jojo McIntosh.
The lead was short-lived. Washington went 75 yards in seven plays for the tying touchdown. Ross again finished the drive, scoring on a 12-yard pass from Jake Browning.
Browning is 9 of 10 for 80 yards.
Dawkins threw his first interception of the season late in the first half. Arizona also lost the ball on a fumble when Nate Phillips tried to field a bouncing punt. But Cameron Van Winkle’s 45-yard field-goal attempt at the buzzer clanged off the left upright.
FIRST QUARTER UPDATE:
The first quarter couldn’t have gone much better for Arizona on Saturday night.
The UA leads No. 9 Washington 7-0 in the Pac-12 opener for both at Arizona Stadium.
Sixteen-point underdogs by kickoff, the Wildcats scored on the opening possession. J.J. Taylor, starting for the injured Nick Wilson (ankle), plunged in from the 1-yard line to cap a 15-play, 75-yard drive.
Brandon Dawkins, making his third straight start for the injured Anu Solomon, completed 6 of 6 passes on the drive.
After forcing a Washington punt, Arizona again put itself in scoring position as the quarter came to an end. The Wildcats face second-and-goal from the 7-yard line.
Dawkins is 9 of 9 for 51 yards. Taylor has 12 carries for 60 yards. Arizona has run 28 plays to Washington’s six.