TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Dylan Morris threw two second-half touchdown passes and Washington rallied to extend the nation’s longest losing streak to 19 games with a 21-16 win over Arizona on Friday.
Washington (3-4, 2-2 Pac-12) stumbled through the first half and was down nine before rallying behind Morris in the fourth quarter. The Huskies’ beleaguered quarterback hit Terrell Bynum on two long passes to set up two scores and Washington’s defense shut down Arizona after being hit with big players earlier.
Arizona (0-7, 0-4) seemed to be on its way to ending its school-record losing streak, taking a 16-7 lead into the fourth quarter before imploding. The Wildcats’ offense stalled and the defense buckled after dominating the first half, leaving them winless since December 2019.
Washington coach Jimmy Lake said this week he would stick with Morris at quarterback despite his ups and downs — eight touchdowns, eight interceptions — but freshman Sam Huard trotted out for the second series.
Morris played the rest of the first half, but didn’t matter who was taking snaps. Washington had 65 yards in the first half and punted on six of its drives.
The Huskies snapped out of it in the second half.
Taking advantage of two long plays on third downs, Washington went 81 yards on eight plays on its opening drive. Bynum capped it by going over Arizona defensive back Jaydin Young’s back and wrestling the ball from him for a 16-yard touchdown catch.
After an interception, Morris connected with Bynum on a 51-yard pass to set up Cameron Davis 9-yard TD run the next play that pulled the Huskies within 16-14.
Morris hit Bynum on another 51-yard pass and, with the help of a defensive holding penalty on third down, found Rome Odunze for an 8-yard touchdown to give the Huskies the lead.
The Wildcats stopped Washington on third down with 2:26 left, but were called for an illegal substitution, giving the Huskies a first down and a chance to all but run out the clock.
Arizona played its worst game under first-year coach Jedd Fisch last week, a 34-0 drubbing at Colorado.
Adding to the woes, the Wildcats lost their second quarterback to a season-ending injury in consecutive weeks when Gunner Cruz tore a ligament in his thumb.
That gave Will Plummer a second chance at starting. His first one didn’t go so well; he threw two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, and injured his shoulder.
Plummer couldn’t get much going in the first quarter — 17 yards — before orchestrating a 10-play, 64-yard drive. Receiver Jamarye Joiner scored on a 1-yard keeper and Lucas Havrisik’s 50-yard field goal put the Wildcats up 13-0 at halftime.
The lead down to 16-7, Plummer threw an interception right to defensive lineman Tuli Letuligasenoa at Washington’s 28-yard line and the Wildcats sputtered the rest of the way.
Washington came to life after a dismal first half to avoid perhaps the most disheartening loss of an up-and-down season.
The Wildcats had their best chance to end the longest losing streak in history within grasp, only to let it slip their fingers.
Washington plays at Stanford on Oct. 30.
Arizona is at Southern California on Oct. 30.
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