The Arizona Wildcats (2-6, 1-5 Pac-12) could not stop Washington Huskies (6-2, 4-1) running back Chris Polk. And judging by his five touchdowns and 244 all-purpose yards, it is hard to envision any defense being able to stop the 222-pound junior running back.
In a game where the Huskies finished their first quarter with a total of negative three yards, it was difficult envisioning the team scoring 42 points and gaining 489 total yards of offense.
For the second year in a row, the Huskies are bowl eligible after collecting their sixth victory of the season, beating the Wildcats 42-31.
Chris Polk cemented his status as the best running back in Husky history after today's game. He became the first player ever in school history to gain both at least 100 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving in a game. His 34 carries for 144 rushing yards gave him his 18th 100-yard game, passing Napoleon Kaufman and giving him the most 100 yard games of any running back in school history. Last but not least, Polk reached 1000 yards rushing in his efforts today, giving him his third consecutive season of 1000 or more rushing yards.
Only down 35-31 with under nine minutes left in the game, Arizona's Nick Foles was leading his team down the field until Washington sophomore safety Will Shamburger forced a fumble out of Wildcats receiver Juron Criner's hands, giving the Huskies possession of the football. After a 24-yard completion from Keith Price to Jermaine Kearse, a couple of runs from Polk and a eight-yard burst by Jessie ,Callier Chris Polk took the ball into the end zone for two yards for his fifth touchdown of the game, putting the Huskies up 42-31. Six plays later, senior linebacker Cort Dennison intercepted Foles and clinched the Huskies their sixth victory of the season
Despite stand-out performances by the Huskies defense and Chris Polk, Washington had to fight through several questionable calls by the Pac-12 officiating crew along with a crazy 91-yard interception return by the Wildcats in the third quarter.
On the Huskies second drive of the second half, after receiving a pass from Keith Price inside Arizona's red zone, Huskies receiver James Johnson fumbled the ball in mid-air and Arizona senior cornerback Robert Golden returned the interception for 91 yards, tying the game at 28-28.
Two plays prior to Golden's interception, the Huskies had just intercepted Foles and were on their way to scoring another touchdown to put them up by two scores. Golden's interception return set the two teams up for a battle in the fourth quarter.
After 13 unanswered points in the first quarter, it looked like the Husky defense was in for another long day against a pass-heavy offense. However, Washington's defense forced Arizona into turning the ball over four times, with three of those coming in the fourth quarter.
Keith Price for the second straight game failed to throw multiple touchdown passes. The sophomore quarterback passed for 277 yards, 1 touchdown and three interceptions — though, those interceptions arguably weren't his fault but rather the faults of his receivers.
Price's sole touchdown pass came on Washington's third play of the second half when he connected with Polk for 17-yard strike.
Washington now has four games remaining on their schedule with a top-ten team in Oregon coming to Montlake for next Saturday's setting up a Pac-12 North showdown.