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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Sights and Sounds: Arizona defeats Washington 52-17

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Tyler Besh
Tyler Besh / Arizona Daily Wildcat

At West Virginia and Michigan, head coach Rich Rodriguez rarely ran the ball less than 60 percent of them, and often ran as much as 70 percent of the time.

In his first six weeks as the UA head coach, Rodriguez turned that presumed run-first mindset on its head, rushing just 43 percent of the time, easily the lowest in his coaching career.

In Saturday’s 52-17 win against Washington, he reverted back to the Rodriguez of old. The final tally was 22 passes (a season-low) and 49 rushes.

“We were running the ball great so I cant complain,” quarterback Matt Scott said. “All I care about is getting W’s. I don’t care about throwing the ball 50 times per game as long as we get the W.”

Scott might not have passed it very much, but when he did it counted. He had 256 passing yards on 14 completions, which equates to 18.2 yards per completion. He had six passes of 19 yards or more, and finished with a career-high four touchdown passes (plus one rushing touchdown).

The real star of the offense though was running back Ka’Deem Carey. The sophomore back ran for 172 yards on 29 carries and his fourth quarter touchdown gave him 11 on the season, tying him with Trung Candidate for fourth on the UA’s single season record list.

“Ka’Deem Carey is a really, really talented guy,” Rodriguez said. “He runs hungry. He makes you tackle him and, boy, he took some shots. He’s a talented guy. All he needs a little bit of crease and he breaks a lot of tackles.”

With his performance against the Huskies, Carey now has 842 yards for 11 touchdowns, good for fourth and second in the Pac-12, respectively.

Check out our photo slideshow of the game here

Stiff arm to success

It might be time to include Austin Hill in the upper echelon of receivers in the Pac-12, alongside USC’s Marquise Lee and Robert Woods, Cal’s Keenan Allen, Oregon State’s Markus Wheaton and Washington State’s Marquess Wilson.

On the season, Hill ranks second in the Pac-12 in receiving yards with 678, and third in touchdowns with seven.

Hill only caught two balls against the Huskies — both for touchdowns. The second of which showed exactly what sort of force Hill is to be reckoned with.

With 12:23 remaining in the third quarter at the 17-yard line, Scott rolled to the left and hit Hill at the 9-yard line. After spinning to face the end zone, Hill cut toward the middle of the field and had one defender between him and six points. As he reached the 5-yard-line, a defender attempted to tackle Hill only to be denied by a powerful stiff arm.

“I haven’t stiff armed anybody since high school so its been a while since I’ve had that feeling,” Hill said. “I turned around and was looking at end zone when I did it cause I didn’t want Ka’Deem to get a touchdown if I got tackled on the 3-yard line, so I just wanted to get into the end zone. It was a natural reaction.”

Scott was one of the first to meet Hill in the end zone, celebrating the score, and he lit up when talking about the catch post-game.

“Oh man, I didn’t even know what to do,” Scott said. “I was so excited, I was jumping up and down. It was crazy. He’s a player, he’s a good player.”

Breaking the punt returning slump

It’s been no secret through the season that the kick and punt returns, and special teams overall, have been a problem area.

Receiver/punt returner Richard Morrison in particular had struggled with holding the ball on returns, and entering the game had just 63 return yards on 11 attempts.

He matched that total on one play in the third quarter, getting Arizona its first punt return touchdown since Bug Wright against Washington State in 2009.

“First thing I thought when I hit the field was, ‘this is my one’,” Morrison said. “Then he kicked it low and I heard everybody on the sideline was like ‘you got time, you got time” then I just looked at my blockers and took off.”

Star sighting

On Sunday, the basketball team will hold its annual Red-Blue intrasquad scrimmage. Arizona will be honoring its 1987-88 Final Four team, so naturally a few of players were seen at Arizona Stadium on Saturday, including Steve Kerr and Sean Elliott.

With the Philadelphia Eagles and San Diego Chargers on bye this week, former UA quarterback Nick Foles and corner Antoine Cason were in attendance as well.

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