The Arizona Wildcats' already thin secondary took another hit in Saturday's 42-31 loss at Washington, putting two starters as questionable to play next week against Utah.

Safety Robert Golden missed part of the fourth quarter because of dehydration, while cornerback Cortez Johnson - a true freshman who made his first career start against the Huskies - suffered a concussion and will be out indefinitely.

"As thin as were going it, it made it more difficult heading into the end of the game," interim coach Tim Kish said.

Golden played one of his best games against the Huskies, registering six tackles and returning an interception 91 yards for a game-tying touchdown. The Huskies were leading by 8 points and driving in the third quarter when quarterback Keith Price found James Johnson open at the 9-yard line. Washington's receiver caught it, took a step, juggled it - and Golden pounced.

The UA safety intercepted the pass, juked six UW chasers, found blockers and ran into the end zone. Nick Foles' 2-point conversion pass to David Douglas was good, and the game was tied.

Johnson finished third on the team with seven tackles, and broke up one pass.

"I thought he did an admirable job, for the most part," Kish said.

Johnson played for starter Shaquille Richardson, who was suspended for Saturday's game because of his role in a midfield brawl with UCLA on Oct. 20. Jourdon Grandon, the UA's starting nickelback, also missed the game. Cornerback Lyle Brown and safety Mark Watley were suspended for the first half.

Kish said he had no choice but to play the younger players and, considering the circumstances, believes they played well.

"It was a learning experience from them," he said, "and they'll grow from it."


The sports editor of the Arizona Daily Star.