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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Ka’Deem Carey a ray of light on Arizona football team

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Tyler Baker
Tyler Baker / The Daily Wildcat UA junior running back Ka’Deem Carey takes a knee on the field after loosing to ASU 58-21 in Tempe.

TEMPE, Ariz. — There was very little for the handful of Arizona fans at ASU to cheer about Saturday but once again, the UA’s star shone brightly.

In surely his last college game in his home state, junior running back Ka’Deem Carey stood out when nothing seemed to go the Wildcats’ way. Carey started off slow on Saturday, but ended up with 157 yards, his 15th consecutive 100-plus yard rushing game, a new Pac-12 record.

All season, teams have loaded up the box against the Wildcats, knowing Carey is going to run the ball. Despite few holes to run through and having to battle tooth and nail for all his yards, he is still having a banner year.

“I didn’t know how many [yards] he had [Saturday], but I wish we could’ve gotten a few more holes for him, because he’s a phenomenal player. He runs extremely hard and he gives his best on every play,” head coach Rich Rodriguez said after the game. “What he’s been doing is phenomenal and he’s had a tremendous year and he’s only a junior.”

Arizona has finished 7-5 in back-to-back seasons, but this is a program that lost 10 in a row to FBS teams as recently as 2010-2011.

The program is on the rise, but after Arizona’s (7-5, 4-5 Pac-12) 58-21 loss to No. 12 ASU (10-2, 8-1), the Sun Devil fans seemed to care more about the Pac-12 Championship game than keeping the Territorial Cup.

The UA does have talent Freshmen receivers Samajie Grant and Nate Phillips have shown flashes of brilliance and look like future stars.

On defense, freshman linebacker Scooby Wright has impressed all season. But as one of the best athletes ever to go to Arizona, Carey is head-and-shoulders above any other Wildcat.

Carey owns or shares 21 school records, including the career rushing mark — which he got in less than three years — the single game (and Pac-12 single game) rushing record (366) and career rushing touchdowns (46).

His aggressive play also happens to be just plain fun to watch. Reporters from media outlets that cover UA opponents rave about him in the press box.

Carey is a junior, but even people who don’t know the difference between a zone-read and red zone know he has one more game left as a Wildcat before entering the NFL Draft.

“Of course I’d like to have him come back, but he’s got at least one more game with us,” Rodriguez said. “I hope he has another whole year.”

It’s a shame that Carey’s career landed in Arizona’s transitional era. It would be more fitting if the Tucson native led the UA to its first Rose Bowl, but he still made a huge difference to this Arizona team.

Enjoy watching Carey while you can, but maybe the chosen one isn’t so far off.

After Tucson’s Salpointe Catholic High School won its first football state championship on Friday, the normally-reserved SCHS head coach Dennis Bene declared that UA-commit Cameron Denson can lead the Wildcats to the Rose Bowl.

Denson, who played his last high school game at Arizona Stadium like Carey, scored on an 84-yard kickoff return and a 98-yard reception in the state championship. He may not be the second coming of Carey, but he was recruited by Alabama and college football’s king of kings, Nick Saban, so maybe he can lead the Wildcats through the desert.

—Follow James Kelley @jameskelley520

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