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Game preview: Cats reaching for second win

CHRIS CODUTO/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Arizona defensive end Paul Philipp dives for the ball earlier this season. The Wildcats look to end the longest losing streak in school history this weekend when they welcome the Washington Huskies to Arizona Stadium for Homecoming.
By Shane Bacon
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, November 7, 2003

UA hoping to end eight-game losing skid against UW

With all the festivities that will be going on this weekend - from the parade to legal beer bongs on the UA Mall - the exclamation point will be dotted if Arizona can find a way to take down Washington.

The Huskies will bring a team that many thought would give Southern California a run for the Pacific 10 Conference title, but has fallen to 5-4 on the season and 3-2 in conference play.

Arizona's loss last week against Oregon State tied the longest losing streak in Wildcat football history.

The Wildcats will be looking this weekend to bring a stop to their eight-game losing streak that dates back to the Louisiana State massacre on September 6th under the tutelage of then-head coach John Mackovic.

Sophomore halfback Mike Bell had another impressive game last week, running for 106 yards on a career-high 25 carries, including a touchdown.

Interim head coach Mike Hankwitz believes Bell has improved dramatically each game and sees great things coming from his lead running back.

"Mike Bell continues to run well," Hankwitz said. "He gets better each week and he will continue to get better. He is running tough and he is still learning."

The Wildcats had a mixed performance last week from freshman quarterback Kris Heavner, who threw for two touchdowns late in the game but looked overwhelmed at times and got himself into tough situations early in the game.

"Kris was trying to do too much and he was trying to win the game by himself," Hankwitz said. "He was trying to make the perfect throw, but he played better in the second half."

Who: Arizona Wildcats vs.Washington Huskies
When: Tomorrow, 4 p.m.
Where: Arizona Stadium
Radio: KNST 790 AM

The Wildcats' defense will have their hands full this weekend as Washington quarterback Cody Pickett and wide receiver Reggie Williams form one of the best passing duos in Division I football.

Pickett has lit up the Wildcats in their last three meetings, including his 455-yard performance in 2001.

Williams will be tough to defend, but Coach Hankwitz said the key is to avoid devastating plays.

"You are never going to take him away totally, but you really have to control and not let him get big plays on you," Hankwitz said.

Hankwitz said the problem with Williams is that Pickett will still find a way to get the ball to the right person, even if Williams is contained.

"Pickett is very experienced in getting the ball to people," he said.

Tomorrow's game will be in front of a Homecoming crowd that is predicted to give the Family Weekend crowd a run for its money, attendance-wise. The Wildcats hope a high turnout will assist them in earning their first win since their 42-7 romp over UTEP in August.

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