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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona football notes: Rainey emerges, Carey honored twice

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Larry Hogan / Arizona Daily Wildcat

When practice finally ends and players run from the huddle to the locker room, cornerback Derrick Rainey doesn’t.

Rainey stays back and continues to practice and perfect his craft, often being the last player to head to the locker room. His hard work and dedication paid off last weekend as Rainey had his first career start against Washinton.

“I just like to make sure I put in a lot of work,” Rainey said.

“My hard work pays off. So if I can put it in on the field, it’ll most definitely show in practice, and then when it shows in practice, it’ll show in the game.”

It’s not that Rainey hasn’t seen playing time this year, but when he has, it’s mostly been in nickel packages. Through the first six games the junior sat behind starters Jonathan McKnight and Shaquille Richardson on the depth chart, but Rainey got a bump up last weekend and started over Richardson. The two corners shared playing time equally, but finally getting to start meant a lot for Rainey.

“It felt great,” Rainey said. “I’ve been waiting for that for a long time and I just made sure when I went in there I gave it 100 percent and went hard.

“I feel like I did good, I could do a lot better, there’s always room for improvement … this week, that’s where it comes in.”

Head coach Rich Rodriguez said he thought Rainey played solidly in his first career start. As a whole, the defense had its best performance against a Pac-12 opponent all season, keeping the Huskies at bay with just 17 points, including a second half shutout.

“He’s coming along,” cornerbacks coach David Lockwood said.

“Again, it’s an open door policy deal and [we] gave him a shot and he responded pretty well. I’ll be anxious to see how he does this week, [USC has] two talented guys.

“He’s learning and most importantly he’s getting more confident in himself.”

Rainey had five total tackles against Washington, tying him for second on the team. On the season Rainey has 18 total tackles and a forced fumble.

Carey honored, twice

Sophomore Ka’Deem Carey exploded against Washington on Saturday, racking up a career-high 172 rushing yards and a score in Arizona’s 52-17 victory.

The big game earned the Wildcats’ star running back regional and national recognition on Wednesday. Carey was added to the Maxwell Award watch list for college football’s most outstanding player and was also named the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas Pac-12 Player of the Week.

“Ka’Deem will make you tackle him,” Rodriguez said. “He’s got incredible balance, incredible balance. I’ve had a couple that were close to this, but Ka’Deem on a consistent basis has continued to show that and it’s a lot of fun to coach him.”

Carey has 842 rushing yards this season, placing him 16th in the nation, and his 12 total touchdowns are second in the Pac-12.

The Washington game wasn’t perfect, as Carey lost his first fumble of the season on the opening play from scrimmage in the third quarter.

The Huskies recovered the ball, only to turn it back over the next play, but that didn’t matter to Carey, who was visibly upset on the sideline.

“You should have seen him after he dropped that ball,” Rodriguez said. “His mouth was all bloodied and he got hit pretty good and all that. And he came up to me, and there was a look in his eyes like, ‘Coach, I won’t fumble again.’”

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