Washington looks to bounce back vs. Arizona

Associated Press  |  Last updated October 28, 2011
Nick Foles and Keola Antolin don't like thinking back to Arizona's last trip to Seattle when they were just sophomores. Interim Arizona coach Tim Kish seems to have erased that game - or at least one moment in particular - from his files. ''I don't really like that memory,'' Kish said. Two years after one of the strangest bounces ever seen led to a game-winning interception for Washington, the Wildcats return to Husky Stadium on Saturday night looking for a second straight win with Kish in charge. It certainly wasn't an enjoyable trip the last time the Wildcats visited. They led by 12 with 4:16 left then saw the lead disappear in one of the most unlikely rallies in Washington's history. Foles tried to throw a quick screen but the timing was disrupted. Foles came back to second option Delashaun Dean, but his throw was low and behind the receiver. The ball deflected off Dean's left foot and right into the arms of Washington's Mason Foster, who ran untouched for the shocking touchdown. Many Wildcats, including Antolin this week, still contend the ball hit the ground and not Dean's foot. ''At the end I felt I made a bad decision,'' Foles said. ''I was younger. I was a sophomore and it was pretty tough.'' Now Foles is a senior and trying to salvage what the Wildcats can from a trying season that saw coach Mike Stoops get dismissed, a five-game losing streak that was finally snapped last week and now four players suspended for all or part of this week's game due to a brawl. ''The vibe is similar, we're here to work,'' Foles said. ''We're not satisfied with just the one win, a lot of us have been here, we've had successful years, we just have to continue day by day.'' While Arizona's challenge is dealing with drama, Washington's concern is how it bounces back from last week's 65-21 thrashing at the hands of No. 4 Stanford and not looking ahead a week. The trap concern comes from how the Wildcats are sandwiched in Washington's schedule. Last week marked the Huskies' return to the AP Top 25 and a prime-time showcase at No. 4 Stanford, which ended with Washington being humbled by the Cardinal. The Huskies close out venerable Husky Stadium next week in another late-night showcase against Oregon, the final game at the 91-year-old facility before a $250 million renovation. Perhaps that's why coach Steve Sarkisian took the step this week of creating a theme for facing Arizona by calling for a ''blackout'' and announcing the Huskies would wear all-black uniforms for the third time in the past two seasons. There are plenty of physical concerns for Washington after they were dominated in every facet by the Cardinal - including surrendering 446 yards rushing - but the Huskies' biggest challenge might be psychological. ''It definitely surprised us. I wasn't expecting to lose like that,'' Washington QB Keith Price said. ''Any time you go in expecting to win and the results are that far off, it's tough.'' If there's an advantage for Washington it's how thin the Wildcats are in their secondary. Arizona will be without four players for all or part of Saturday's game after their involvement in an on-field brawl last week against UCLA. Starting cornerback Shaquille Richardson and nickel back Jourdan Grandon will miss the entire game, while cornerback Lyle Brown and safety Mark Watley each will sit a half. All those subtractions could potentially have two true freshmen starting in the secondary against a Washington passing game that, with the exception of last week, is flourishing with Price under center. ''Discipline is the cornerstone of where we're at right now, that was a lack of discipline, that was a little bit of, in my opinion, a selfish reaction to 18-, 19-, 20-year-old kids' emotions, they get carried away sometimes,'' Kish said. ''It needs to be garnered, we have to understand the bigger purpose is what's best for the team. It's unfortunate. In my opinion, it's the right thing to do from the commissioner's standpoint, it's something we're going to have to deal with moving forward.'' Price was 23 of 36 for 247 yards, one touchdown and one interception last week against Stanford. For the season, he still ranks among the national leaders in TD passes and passing efficiency. And he gets Arizona's depleted secondary to pick on. ''No one likes losing at all. A loss is a loss but to take a loss like that, it really hurts,'' Washington receiver James Johnson said. ''But the team we have here, there are guys in the locker room that are going to be motivated from it. We're looking forward to playing (Arizona).'' --- Follow Tim Booth on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ByTimBooth
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