If the Arizona Cardinals' offensive line is the most-criticized unit around the state, the UA Wildcats' defense is probably a close second.
Heading into Saturday night's home game against Washington, Arizona's defense had given up a combined 141 points and 1,725 total yards in three straight losses to Oregon, Oregon State and Stanford.
In fact, in their first 12 quarters of Pac-12 play, the Wildcats had only one frame in which they gave up less than seven points.
Against Keith Price and the Huskies, it was a completely different story for Rich Rodriguez's squad. Matt Scott and the offense certainly did their job in UA's 52-17 rout, but it was the Wildcats' defense -- which shut out Washington in the second half -- that created separation over the final 30 minutes of play.
The Wildcats' pass rush sacked Price four times, while forcing the junior quarterback to throw the ball away six other times.
He also threw two interceptions on the night.
For their efforts, UA's defense finally got some praise thrown their way by Pac-12 blogger Ted Miller:
Arizona's defense: It seems like Ka'Deem Carey or Matt Scott could get helmet stickers every week, but it's not often we're talking about Arizona's defense. And when we do, it's usually about how they haven't been able to protect a lead for their offense. So give them credit for blanking Washington in the second half and forcing three turnovers in a 52-17 win.
Next up for the Wildcats' defense is a date next Saturday in Tucson with the high-flying USC Trojans, led by Matt Barkley, Robert Woods and Marqise Lee. The Trojans come to town fresh off a 44-point blowout of Colorado.