No. 9 Washington ventures into the desert on Saturday for a game against Arizona. The Huskies are off to a smooth start, and they'll aim to keep this train chugging along against Rich Rodriguez's Wildcats.
The teams have played annually since 1995 and have split their last eight meetings, with the home team winning all of them. That's a good sign for Arizona, which will need a lot to break properly to pull off what'd be a considerable upset. Rodriguez has done well in that regard in Tucson. He's 7-12 against ranked teams, but he's 5-3 when he gets them at Arizona Stadium. That includes a win against then-No. 10 Utah last year.
The good news for the Huskies is that they're really good. Their best opponent so far is Rutgers, but they've still whomped everyone and done nothing to disabuse us of the notion that they'll win a bunch of games this season. Here's their biggest test yet.
How to watch, stream and listen
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network. The broadcasters are Roxy Bernstein, Anthony Herron, and Lewis Johnson.
Radio: Washington and Arizona
Online streaming: Pac-12 Network
Spread: Washington opened as a 10-point favorite.
Three big things to know
1. Jake Browning's started exactly right. The sophomore UW quarterback has completed 72 percent of his passes, and he's done it for 744 yards, 12 touchdowns and an interception. He's only played cupcakes, but he's treated them exactly as expected, and then some. His top four targets have all caught at least 70 percent of the balls he's thrown at them, and he's got no shortage of targets. This has been as encouraging as Chris Petersen could've dreamed.
2. Arizona's got to fix some third-down problems. The Wildcats haven't been efficient here on either side of the ball, clicking at just 36 percent on offense while giving up 53 percent of opponents' conversion tries in non-conference play. That's a pretty big scale-tipper, and UA likely won't hold up well against Washington without making some fixes.
3. If Arizona stops Washington's offense even a little bit, it'll be a neat trick. The Huskies closed last year by scoring 40-plus points in three straight games, and they've run that streak into this year. Nobody's handled this unit since Arizona State held it to 17 points last Nov. 14. It's been all fireworks since then, even though most of it's come against less-than-stellar competition. The Huskies are rolling, and any Arizona resistance will be impressive. Whether the Wildcats can find enough to win is an open question.