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Wednesday, July 23, 2014 | Last updated: 7:19pm

Football season review: Three up and three down



Three up

Ka’Deem carries the load

Though his 1,885 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns in 2013 only placed him 10th in the Heisman voting, Ka’Deem Carey became the first Wildcat to ever finish in the top 10.

The zesty homegrown young man didn’t just carry his team when he ran the ball in 2013. The Tucson native ran with the weight of the entire city on his shoulder pads, and it showed every time he was given the ball. Head coach Rich Rodriguez never hesitated to compliment the tenacity, power and pure heart that Carey ran with.

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By Rebecca Sasnett 2013 / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Rebecca Marie Sasnett/ Daily Wildcat The football team celebrates winning the AdvoCare V100, 42-19 over Boston College on Dec. 31 in Shreveport, La.

No matter the workload, when Rodriguez and the Wildcats needed him the most, Carey never failed to come through. His 206 rushing yards on 48 attempts against then No. 5 Oregon helped Arizona capture its biggest win under Rodriguez.

Ducks get quacked

The game that defined Arizona’s football season should never be forgotten. Fresh off two consecutive losses, the then 6-4 Wildcats, albeit bowl eligible, were on the fringe of taking a step back from the previous eight-win season.

But on a cold, late November midday game, Arizona somehow crushed the then-No. 5 Ducks 42-16, thus restoring harmony to Tucson and wreaking havoc in Eugene, Ore.

Rich Rod wins second straight bowl

Arizona’s 42-19 AdvoCare V100 Bowl win over Boston College was the Wildcats’ (8-5) second consecutive bowl victory in as many years. The only other time UA won back-to-back bowl games in two consecutive years was 1997 and 1998 (Insight.com and Holiday Bowl).

Following the 1998 Holiday Bowl, it would take Arizona 10 years to reach another bowl; it defeated BYU 31-21 in the 2008 Las Vegas Bowl. While the Wildcats must hope the next bowl game they reach won’t be in 2023, the fact that Rodriguez has won two consecutive bowls in his first two seasons is impressive, especially considering he took over a team in 2011 that had only won four games.

Three down

Cougars pounce on wildcats

Washington State came to Tucson on Nov. 16 with a subpar 4-5 record, a walk in the park for the favored Wildcats. However, Arizona fell asleep at the wheel and crashed and burned in a 24-17 loss to the Cougars. After the win, Washington State coaches could be heard in the press box shouting with joy, while Wildcat coaches struggled to grasp what had just happened.

The game would later be forgotten after the victory over Oregon, but if Arizona had taken care of business with Washington State, they would have finished the season with an improved nine-win season.

Tempe power

Riding high after their win over Oregon, the Wildcats traveled to Tempe, Ariz., to play their rival ASU for the Territorial Cup. But the Wildcats were blown out by the then-12th ranked Sun Devils who absolutely dominated on both sides of the ball.

Rodriguez is 0-2 versus the Wildcats’ rival. The inability to beat a rival was a problem he had while coaching at Michigan from 2008-2010. End-of-the-season losses to ASU have put black eyes to what have, overall, been successful seasons.

Ka’Deem follows his dream

Carey’s decision Monday to forgo his final year of eligibility at Arizona and to pursue a career in the NFL leaves a huge hole for the Wildcats to attempt to fill. Carey was the centerpiece to Arizona’s offense for the past two seasons. If he had chosen to return next season, the Wildcats would have had one of the most dangerous offenses in the country.

Follow Luke Della @LukeDella


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