Arizona football plays waiting game before bowl matchup revealed
Carey upset he ‘let teammates down’ in loss to ASU
The wait is almost over.
It’s been a week since the Arizona Wildcats last took the field for a game, and their bowl fate will not be decided until Sunday night, but players and coaches were on the field again Friday, albeit in an odd situation.
The Wildcats have relied on the “one day at a time” mantra quite heavily this season, focusing on each opponent one at a time.
Arizona and head coach Rich Rodriguez are not afforded that opportunity because the Wildcats are one of four teams in the Pac-12 with seven wins vying for different bowl slots.
“When you find out who your opponent is, it’s easier to move on [from last Friday’s loss to Arizona State].” Rodriguez said after practice. “I’m not sure I’m not still ticked off. I’m not naïve to the bowl system. We could have controlled our destiny by winning one more or two more or three more.”
The four bowls the Wildcats could conceivably end up in are the Hyundai Sun Bowl, Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas and the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, which would be played on Dec. 15, the same day the No. 9 Arizona men’s basketball team plays Florida in McKale Center.
“It’s better than last year,” sophomore running back Ka’Deem Carey said. “Not knowing is better than knowing that we’re not going to a bowl. It really doesn’t matter to me [where we go]. I’m excited to play another game.”
Carey not worried about Heisman ranking, upset he ‘let teammates down’
Carey has not received much national attention for his sophomore season, despite leading the nation in rushing yards and rushing yards per game.
Carey has broken a slew of school records and holds the record for most rushing yards in a game, but Rodriguez does not believe he deserves a true shot at the Heisman trophy, often given to a skill position player such as Carey.
“Does he deserve a vote or two?” Rodriguez asked. “Sure. To win the Heisman, you have to have a great individual year and your team has to have a great year. Ka’Deem’s had a great year, but we didn’t.”
Carey currently has 1,757 yards and 20 rush touchdowns, with an opportunity to break the school record for most touchdowns in a season in whatever bowl game the Wildcats find themselves in.
“That will be pretty exciting to see who wins that,” Carey said. “[To have my name on the list] feels like all my hard work starts to pay off a bit.”
He could have broken or tied the record in last week’s 41-34 loss to ASU, but Carey missed time in the game because of injury.
The week off from practice has given Carey time to heal and reflect on his performance in the loss.
“I feel like this bowl game is one of our key games, just to show people what we’re made of and what our season is made of,” Carey said. “I’m going to be 100 percent. That’s why I go in the training room every day, so I don’t let my teammates down again.”