Washington vs. Arizona 2012 reaction: Huskies struggle with protection, deep passes against Wildcats

Despite a promising start to their meeting with the Arizona Wildcats, the Washington Huskies again fell victim to a spread offense and the offense could not get on the same page — a result that had the Huskies faithful upset with a lackluster performance in a key Pac-12 game.

Over at UW Dawg Pound, the guys focused on the offensive attack, whose protection had trouble containing blitzes, while quarterback Keith Price was unable to connect with receivers on shorter routes.

Washington's offensive line seemed to block the front three of Arizona's 3-3-5 stack defense well enough. That defense relies on pressure from the back eight, and they got it. The line had trouble picking up on blitzes and blocking who was coming hot and who was dropping back on pass plays.

Price did lead the Huskies to an early scoring drive, which was encouraging. But with the Wildcats pressuring receivers short, Washington was forced into deeper looks, which Price was unable to complete.

The receivers struggled to get separation in the short game. Washington's offense obviously relies on short passing and screens to get most of the yards through the air, which helps to hide deficiencies among the offensive line. Price took a number of three and five-step dropbacks only to have nobody to thrown to.

Success was found in the ground game for the Huskies, as both Kendyl Taylor and Bishop Sankey drew praise. They were seen to be underutilized down the stretch, however, as the game plan seemed to call for more passing from Price and less rushing.

Taylor and Sankey both looked good running the ball, showing decisiveness and burst through the hole. Sankey showed some power as well. It was obvious that the gameplan was to have Price throw quite a bit in order to keep up with the Arizona offense, but with the obvious success on the ground Steve Sarkisian should have looked to run the ball more often.

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