Arizona Wildcats beat Colorado 44-20
Arizona beat Colorado 44-20 to win its second game in a row and move to within one victory of bowl eligibility.
The Wildcats (5-2, 2-2 Pac-12) ran over the Buffaloes (3-4, 0-4) in Boulder, Colo., rushing for 405 yards.
“It’s awesome,” said senior quarterback B.J. Denker in the post game press conference. “It’s definitely tough to get a win on the road. It’s another Pac‐12 South game, so we are taking this momentum to keep our season going and this winning streak alive.”
Denker led the way with a career high 192 yards rushing and passed for 265 yards, going 21-for-32 with a touchdown and an interception. Denker’s 457 yards of total offense is the sixth best in school history.
Cole Malham/The Daily Wildcat UA Quarterback, B.J. Denker, looks for a receiver downfield on Saturday against Washington.
“It was big, the way they were defending us they were loading the box to stop Ka’Deem, and we were going to have to take the ball up high,” said head coach Rich Rodriguez. “Obviously B.J. running was a key, the way they were playing us they were going to take away a lot of Ka’Deem’s inside runs so B.J. had some opportunities.”
Junior running back Ka’Deem Carey rushed for 119 yards on 23 carries and had four touchdowns.
“[Colorado] picked their poison, and they picked wrong,” Carey said. “B.J. had a great game today.”
Arizona got on the board with a one-yard rushing touchdown by Carey. Colorado instantly responded with a 75-yard touchdown though.
Colorado freshman quarterback Sefo Liufau was 17-of-32 for 212 yards and one touchdown in his first Pac-12 start.
Freshmen receivers Samajie Grant and Nate Phillips shined, Grant had six catches for 41 yards and Phillips gained 69 yards on four catches.
The Wildcats regained the lead with a 37-yard field goal on the next drive.
Colorado capitalized on a third down midfield fumble by junior receiver Garic Wharton with a 53-yard field goal.
Following Denker’s third interception of the year, Colorado took a 13-10 lead with a 48-yard field goal.
Arizona retook the lead with a seven-yard touchdown run by Carey.
The Wildcats struck again with 44-yard touchdown pass from Denker to freshman receiver Nate Phillips.
Following a 54-yard rush by Denker, Arizona kicked a 26-yard field goal to score on their first drive of the second half. The run gave Denker his first 100-yard rushing game of his career.
“I wasn’t surprised, I was just trying to get north and south as fast as possible,” Denker said. “I was trying not to get caught, and I got caught a couple of times unfortunately.”
Rodriguez said he didn’t realize that Denker had outrushed Carey, who ran for 366 yards against Colorado last year.
“I’ve had a quarterback do that before, a couple of them as a matter of fact, Denard Robinson and Pat White and they were really fast, Rodriguez said. “But B.J.’s a competitor and I
think that’s his best quality, he loves to compete.”
The Buffaloes, however, responded quickly with a one yard-touchdown run, to cut Arizona’s lead to seven.
On the next drive, following a 43-yard pass from Denker to senior receiver Terrence Miller, Carey scored another touchdown.
Following a failed Colorado fake punt, Arizona capitalized on the short field with a six-yard Carey touchdown run.
On Arizona’s next possession, they scored a 28-yard field goal to make it 44-20.
The Wildcats continue their two-game road swing with a trip to California (1-7, 0-5) next weekend.
—Follow James Kelley @JamesKelley520