Arizona Wildcats run over Utah 35-24
Arizona football ended its losing skid with a 35-24 win over Utah at home.
Behind junior running back Ka’Deem Carey, the Wildcats (4-2, 1-2 Pac-12) beat Utah, which upset then No. 5 Stanford a week ago and lost by seven to then No. 12 UCLA the week before. Carey had a school record 40 carries and rushed for 236 yards.
“I feel it, I feel every 40 carries,” Carey said. “That was a fun game, blockers [were] out there giving me holes and I just took it.”
Carey passed his career high number of rushes, 30, in the third quarter.
Tyler Baker/The Daily Wildcat
Carey also moved into fifth on the UA’s career rushing chart. Carey moved over 200 yards with a 44-yard touchdown rush to ice the game.
“His last one I was yelling at him to get down,” said head coach Rich Rodriguez. “I’m sure he didn’t hear me and probably didn’t care. That was a big one, after that fumble, I knew he was going to run hard.”
Carey’s run came after a late fumble.
“I felt like I let my team down, so when I got that ball and I saw the crease I said ‘man, I got ya back team,’” Carey said.
Senior quarterback B.J. Denker was 18-for-30 passing, 168 yards and had a touchdown and rushed for 51 yards on 13 carried and scored another two touchdowns on the ground.
Arizona scored on its opening drive. Carey had a 30-yard run and Denker scored on a 10-yard run.
Utah responded with a touchdown, which Arizona appeared to answer, but a 65-yard Carey touchdown run was called back because the officials whistled the play dead before the snap due to a problem with the clock.
“I wasn’t really in the mood to hear that kind of explanation,” Rodriguez said. “I didn’t hear a whistle, maybe you all did.”
Arizona moved the ball into the red zone but was unable to convert on fourth and one.
Senior linebacker Marquis Flowers had a 14-yard interception return for a touchdown a few plays later. The UA’s defense has four pick sixes this year.
“It was just a big play for the defense,” Flowers said.
Utah pulled starting quarterback Travis Wilson for their last drive of the first half. He was 3-for-9 for 15 yards with two interceptions and one touchdown when they did.
Back-up quarterback Adam Schulz drove the team down the field, but Utah missed a 42-yard field goal.
Schulz was 12-for-23 with 142 yards and one touchdown on the game.
“As an offense, we have all the trust in Adam,” said Utah senior receiver Sean Fitzgerald. “He’s a great player and we know what he is capable of.”
Arizona was missing safety Jared Tevis, who didn’t dress and lost spur Tra’Mayne Bondurant due to a head injury.
“Two of our better players really didn’t play this game,” Rodriguez said.
Utah scored first in the second half, on a one run touchdown run, thanks to getting a short field after a muffed punt by sophomore punt returner Johnny Jackson.
“You gotta give them credit, but we helped,” Rodriguez said.
The Utes took the lead on a 55-yard flea flicker after the Wildcats could only gain one yard on a fourth and two.
Denker hit freshman Nate Phillips for a seven-yard touchdown pass a few plays after Phillips gained 36 yards on a reception despite a pass interference on the Utes.
“Our previous other drives had stalled a little bit, so it definitely got us on track,” Phillips said. “I’m sure it gave some energy to the defense when we needed it in that game.”
Denker ran in the two point conversion to make it 28-21.
“Nate’s got the same kind of hunger or intensity as Ka’Deem has,” Rodriguez said. “That was a huge catch.”
Phillips had four catches for 63 yards.
Carey fumbled at the UA 39 yard line with 6:29 left. The Wildcats’ defense forced a 40-yard field goal, which was missed.
“Our defense saved our butts and then [Carey] had some magic with that long run,” Denker said.
—Follow James Kelley @JamesKelley520