It’s a good thing for the Arizona Wildcats that Arizona Stadium was half-empty this afternoon.
They don’t anyone to see what just happened.
The Wildcats dropped their second straight game, this one as a double-digit favorite, losing to Washington State 24-17.
"I don't think we played well in any phase," UA coach Rich Rodriguez said. "It's a tough one; they're all tough. Even as poorly as we played, we still had opportunities. So that makes it even harder to stomach."
Cougars quarterback Connor Halliday threw a 25-yard touchdown to Isiah Myers with 2:15 to play to put Washington State in the lead for good.
Arizona got one final chance and the Wildcats drove deep into Cougars territory, but couldn’t finish the drive. B.J. Denker’s final pass intended for Samajie Grant was caught by Grant, but he came down out of bounds.
"I just saw a team trying to fight and get a score, but it just didn't go our way," said senior receiver Terrence Miller about what he saw on the final play. "They played pretty good defense and that's about it."
Arizona had to play catch up from the beginning after a fast start by Washington State.
The Cougars took an early lead, scoring on both of their opening drives. The first was a seven-play, 60-yard drive that resulted in a 15-yard touchdown from Marcus Mason.
After a punt by the Wildcats, the Cougars went right back to work. This time it was a 10-play, 64-yard drive that ended in a 24-yard field goal from Andrew Furney.
Then the Arizona offense got moving.
The Wildcats put together a quick four-play, 61-yard drive, which Ka’Deem Carey capped with a 30-yard touchdown run. The drive lasted just 1:09.
That score came with 47 seconds left in the first quarter.
Arizona kept it going in the second.
Carey caught a seven-yard touchdown pass from B.J. Denker with 7:37 left in the second quarter to give the UA the lead.
Arizona had a chance to pad its lead near the end of the half, but kicker Jake Smith missed a 40-yard field goal as time expired to keep the score 14-10.
The Wildcats offense couldn’t get much going to start the second half and Washington State eventually gained a 17-14 lead when Connor Halliday found River Cracraft for a 23-yard score.
Arizona eventually tied the game at 17 when Jake Smith hit a 25-yard field goal.
The Wildcats had plenty of opportunities to win the game, but two missed field goals and several failed third down conversions haunted the UA.
Halliday finished 39 for 53 for 319 yards, two touchdowns and a pick.
Carey finished with 132 yards on 26 carries, but wasn’t much of a factor late.
Arizona will host Oregon next week. The gametime will be announced tomorrow.