TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Matt Scott threw for 256 yards and four touchdowns, Ka’Deem Carey ran for 172 yards and Arizona raced out of its bye week with a 52-17 rout over Washington Saturday night.
Arizona (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12) went into its bye worn down and beaten up after three straight losses to ranked opponents.
Refreshed and mostly recuperated, the Wildcats had their way with Washington’s defense from the opening drive, eclipsing 500 total yards (533) for the sixth time this season.
Scott finished 14 of 22, throwing two touchdowns to Austin Hill, and ran for another score. Carey scored on a 2-yard run, and Richard Morrison added a 63-yard touchdown on a punt return to give coach Rich Rodriguez his first Pac-12 win.
Washington (3-4, 1-3) had no chance against Arizona’s fast-paced offense, and quarterback Keith Price had another so-so game in the Huskies’ third straight loss.
Price matched Scott with 256 yards passing, but his line didn’t look quite as good, needing 52 attempts to get there and with two interceptions to offset his one touchdown.
Washington played a brutal schedule the first half of the season, facing four teams in the top 11 of the AP poll. The Huskies were run over in two of those, on the road against LSU and Oregon, but beat Stanford and stayed close to USC last week despite four turnovers and a blocked punt.
It didn’t figure to get any easier against Arizona and its go-all-the-time offense, particularly since it didn’t go so well the last time the Huskies faced an up-tempo team.
Of course, that was against arguably the fastest team in the country, No. 2 Oregon, which ran past them for a 52-21 victory.
Preparing for a no-huddle team and seeing one live should have helped the Huskies against Arizona, which had run more plays than all but one team before its bye week.
Snapping the ball almost as soon as the officials placed it, the Wildcats picked Washington’s defense apart behind Carey’s quick-burst running and Scott’s pinpoint passing.
Scott set Pac-12 records for completions (45) and attempts (69) while throwing for 491 yards and three touchdowns in Arizona’s 54-48 loss to Stanford two weeks ago.
The fifth-year senior didn’t have to work quite as hard against Washington.
He opened by getting two Washington defenders to bite on a pump fake to set up a floating, 27-yard touchdown pass to David Richards.
Scott did it next with his legs, scoring on a 1-yard run, then his arm, finding Garic Wharton on a 33-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-3 to put Arizona up 24-3. He also had a quick answer to Washington’s first touchdown — a 6-yard pass from Price to Austin Seferian-Jenkins — by hitting Hill on a 53-yard touchdown.
Scott’s only real mistake came in the closing seconds of the first half, when he was hit, and his fluttering pass was picked off by Washington linebacker Travis Feeney at midfield. He rumbled to the 3-yard line, setting up Bishop Sankey’s 1-yard touchdown run that cut Arizona’s lead to 31-17 at halftime.
The miscue did little to slow the Wildcats down.
Arizona gained about 10 yards when the teams traded fumbles near midfield, and Hill followed with his second touchdown catch, sending Washington’s Sean Parker to the turf with a wicked stiff-arm on his way to a 17-yard touchdown.
Morrison followed with his punt return touchdown, and Carey opened the fourth quarter with his touchdown run to put Arizona up 52-17 and send the fans on an exodus to the exits.