Arizona football looks to end losing streak against Washington

Oct 22, 2021, 7:39 AM | Updated: 7:40 am
Tayvian Cunningham #11 of the Arizona Wildcats is tackled by Trikweze Bridges #11 of the Oregon Duc...
Tayvian Cunningham #11 of the Arizona Wildcats is tackled by Trikweze Bridges #11 of the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium on September 25, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona played its worst game under first-year coach Jedd Fisch a week ago, a 34-0 loss to Colorado that left the Wildcats searching for answers.

Their bid to end a school-record 18-game losing streak doesn’t get any easier this week.

Not only do the Wildcats have to face Washington on Friday night, they’ll do it after losing two starting quarterbacks to season-ending injuries in consecutive weeks.

“I think what happens is when you get injuries or when you start thinking like, how do we get out of the rut, you start saying to yourself, is there something more I should do outside of my job?” Fisch said. “And our big message is, do your job and trust the process and recognize that we can all build this thing together.”

Few things have come together for Arizona so far this season.

The Wildcats (0-6, 0-3 Pac-12) had some good moments against BYU and No. 10 Oregon, but struggled in nearly every phase in the loss to Colorado.

Compounding matters, quarterback Gunner Cruz suffered a season-ending thumb injury while throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown. He was starting because Jordan McCloud had season-ending surgery the week before after suffering ankle and knee injuries against UCLA.

Now they have to face a Washington team that was a couple of plays away from being 3-0 in conference.

The Huskies (2-4, 1-2) opened the season with losses to Montana and No. 6 Michigan, but followed with wins over Arkansas State and California. They lost two close games the past two weeks, 27-24 to Oregon State and 24-17 to UCLA.

“We have to make those plays when we’re down in the final minutes of a game,” Washington coach Jimmy Lake said. “We’ve done it before, and we did it in 2020, and we’ve done it obviously this year. So those guys know the taste of it.”

Time, TV and odds

Time: 7:30 p.m. MST


FanDuel Sportsbook odds: Arizona is a 17.5-point underdog


With the injuries to Cruz and McCloud, Will Plummer gets a second shot at starting.

He hopes it turns out better than the first one.

The freshman got the start against Northern Arizona after Cruz struggled the week before against San Diego State. Plummer threw for 191 yards, but also had two interceptions — one returned for a touchdown — and suffered a shoulder injury in the 21-12 loss to the FCS Lumberjacks.

Plummer called it one of the worst nights of his life, but has worked his way back for a second chance.

“I got a little banged up in the shoulder,” he said. “I didn’t throw for about a week, so I was out for a little bit, kind of down, fell on the depth chart a little bit. I think that I’ve came a long way since then and I’m ready to go.”


There continues to be questions about whether Dylan Morris is the right option at quarterback for Washington or if a change should be considered. Morris had two interceptions last week against UCLA, the last coming in the fourth quarter on an underthrown pass that if it was on target could have been a tying touchdown.

Morris has an unimpressive eight touchdowns and eight interceptions in six games but Lake said he is not considering a change.

“There’s not going to be a panic button pushed here where all the sudden we’re just going to be rotating guys in and out at certain positions, especially an important position like quarterback,” Lake said.


Washington was thrilled with the limited return of pass rusher Zion Tupuola-Fetui six months after he suffered an Achilles tendon tear.

Tupuola-Fetui had a handful of snaps against UCLA but asserted himself with a quarterback hit on his first snap and found a way to create pressure during his brief appearance. Washington expects to see a gradual increase in Tupulola-Fetui’s workload as he continues his recovery.

“There’s not many people that can come back from that injury in six months and go out there and play in a college football game at that level,” Lake said.

Arizona Football

Arizona State DB Jack Jones celebrates an 87-yard pick-six in a 38-15 win over Arizona in the Terri...
Jake Anderson

Arizona State’s defense bends but doesn’t break in Territorial Cup win

Bend but don't break. That was the calling card for ASU's defense in Saturday's 38-15 Territorial Cup win over Arizona at Sun Devil Stadium.
1 day ago
Arizona State linebacker Merlin Robertson (8) intercepts a shuffle pass against Washington State of...
Jake Anderson

Reports: ASU senior LBs Darien Butler, Merlin Robertson out vs. Arizona

The Arizona State Sun Devils will once again not be at full strength for Saturday afternoon's Territorial Cup vs. the Arizona Wildcats.
1 day ago
Linebacker Merlin Robertson #8 of the Arizona State Sun Devils catches an interception intended for...
Arizona Sports

Sun Devils vs. Wildcats: A look back at Territorial Cup history

Arizona and Arizona State match up in 2020 for the latest iteration of the Territorial Cup with both teams looking for its first win of the season.
5 days ago
Running back DeaMonte Trayanum #1 of the Arizona State Sun Devils rushes the football against lineb...
Arizona Sports

Territorial Cup between ASU, Arizona just 1 of many Pac-12 in-state rivalries

While the Territorial Cup between ASU and Arizona may be the oldest, let's take a look at the rivalries across the Pac-12.
2 days ago
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates after Eno Benjamin #26 (not pictured) scores a ...
Kevin Zimmerman

What Arizona sports fans can be thankful for in 2021

The spirit of Thanksgiving is about the gratefulness that comes with not having it all, but enjoying the some that you do have.
5 days ago
Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards signals to his offense during the second half of an NCAA coll...
Associated Press

Pac-12 head coaching vacancies are likely to grow

There have been 14 changes at the FBS level. Three of those were in the Pac-12, with Washington, Washington State and USC all firing coaches.
5 days ago
Arizona football looks to end losing streak against Washington