Wildcat Sports

GAME BLOG: Arizona vs Colorado


Larry Hogan/Arizona Daily Wildcat

Backup quarterback B.J. Denker, No. 7, makes a pass during UA football practice on Aug. 16


FINAL SCORE; Arizona 56, Colorado 31

Arizona (6-4, 3-4 Pac-12) take care of lowly Colorado (1-9, 1-6) and become bowl eligible. Check out our game recap to get everything in full context.


Colorado fails to score on a fourth and goal, which all but ends this game. Actually it does end the game.

Also, in the same vein, Carey’s night is officially done. Rodriguez decided the sophomore has done enough (I mean he just set the conference yardage mark). Running backs Daniel Jenkins and Jared Baker are getting some touches now.


TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 56, CU 31

WOW…. Seriously wow, I’m speechless. Ka’Deem “the Dream” first scampered down the field for a 64-yard run and then punched it in on the next play to tie Luppino for the Arizona record of five touchdowns. Five rushing scores is also the conference record, which Oregon’s Kenjon Barner also tied last week against USC.

Barner had 38 attempts for 321 yards and it boosted him right to the top of the Heisman conversation (it was against USC, which is a little more impressive than Colorado).

Still, Carey has made those numbers look elementary. He has 25 carries for 366 yards and five touchdowns. That breaks Rueben Mayes conference record of 357 yards. The Washington State running back racked up the yardage in 1984 against Oregon.

TCU’s LaDainian Tomlinson has the NCAA record with 406 yards against UTEP in 1999.


TOUCHDOWN Colorado; UA 49, CU 31

Arizona leaves tight end Scott Fernandez wide open (which is understandable since the junior never had a catch before in his career). But the 6-foot-3, 250-pound tight end lumbered down the field, and after safety Vince Miles made an awful attempt to tackle him, Fernandez first catch turned into a 71-yard touchdown.

Fernandez decided to celebrate and earned a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, but can you blame him? His has a career average of 71 yards per catch now. Pretty impressive.

Also this game isn’t entirely over. It would require a huge, unbelievable collapse by the Wildcats, but more than 10 minutes do remain.


Arizona’s Kyle Dugandzic just had his first punt of the game, 1 39-yarder. In between the Denker fumble that started the game and Dugandzic’s punt, the Wildcats scored on seven straight possessions.


TOUCHDOWN Colorado; UA 49, CU 24

The lead is probably insurmountable, but to Colorado’s credit they still haven’t given up in the game. Running back Donta Abron rumbled into the end zone, breaking several tackles for the 10-yard score.

Abron, another freshman back, has 10 carries for 74 yards and that score. A season-high of 51,236 fans are in attendance for the battle of the backs. A lopsided battle, but a battle none the less.


END OF THE 3RD QUARTER; Arizona 49, Colorado 17

The Wildcat offense found its rhythm there in the third quarter, outscoring the Buffs 21-0. Going into the game, Flowers said that the blueprint was out on the Arizona defense – teams will just run against them.

That proved somewhat true, considering Colorado has 158 yards on 42 attempts. But apparently the blueprint is the exact same for teams going against Colorado. Arizona has 335 yards on 28 carries.


TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 49, CU 17

And that’s the ball game. After Carey just broke the Arizona single-game rushing record, Denker punched it in with a quarterback bootleg and a nice dive into the end zone.

Fact: Carey’s 293 yards is the most Colorado has ever allowed in a game. Not too shabby.


Carey just broke the Arizona all-time rushing record with a career-long 71 yard run. If it was the beginning of the game Carey probably would have scored that, but he ran out of steam at the end.

Carey has 293 yards on 21 carries, giving him a measly 14 yards per attempt. I’m not impressed.


TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 42, CU 17

Carey with his fourth touchdown of the game, a eight-yard run down the right hash marks. The hole was gaping enough that he could do a version of the high step into the endzone.

The four scores ties him for second all-time and he’s now second in the school’s single season touchdown list. Carey has 20 attempts for 222 yards and four scores, Powell has 21 rushes for 74 yards and two touchdowns.

A little bit of a contrast in styles there.


Good news: Carey just broke the 200-yard mark, the first Arizona player to do so since Nic Grigsby in 2009 (he had 207 yards against NAU).

Bad news: Receiver Austin Hill made a diving catch in the endzone for a touchdown but landed out of bounds and his head went directly into the post. Hill eventually jogged off the field after laying on the ground, so hopefully he’s OK. The play was pretty scary when it happened, though. The sophomore looked like he was in a lot of pain.


Of course I’d write an entire paragraph about the Wildcats lack of pressure right before defensive tackle Reggie Gilbert recorded a sack on third down. Gilbert is now second on the team with 3.5 sacks this season. Marquis Flowers is first with 5.5 sacks on the year.


Arizona has had almost no pressure this entire game, which could explain Hirschman’s 12-for-13 passing this game. It’s hard to tell if the Buffs’ offensive line is playing well or the Wildcat defense just can’t produce any pressure, I’ll just say that Colorado’s previous starting quarterback, Webb, was the second most sacked QB in the nation.

Still, Hirschman has actually looked pretty good in his play so far, and the couple times he saw any pressure he actually made a nice scramble for some yardage.


TOUCHDOWN Arizona; 35 UA, CU 17

Well… that was easy. Arizona eats up just 1:53 of the clock on a six play, 73-yard drive led primarily by Carey but Denker did well too.

The junior hit Buckner for a nine-yard touchdown, the senior receivers’ second of the game and the Wildcats now lead by three scores. This might turn into a rout (if the Wildcats actually figure out how to play defense).


And we’re off! Arizona will start with the ball this half and a chance to take a sizable lead.

Two plays already and two lessons learned: Vanilla Vick is really quick and Ka’Deem “the Dream” just ran off another big play (46-yards straight up the gut).


HALFTIME; Arizona 28, Colorado 17

Defense was optional that half as Colorado had 228 yards (69 yards off its per game average) and the Wildcats have 272 yards. Still, only two incompletions in the half.

At half, Carey has 121 yards and three touchdowns. He’s still far off of the single game record (288 yards by Canidate against ASU) but the three scores is only two away (and yes, two touchdowns is a lot) from Luppino’s five in 1954.

Check out Zack Rosenblatt’s halftime recap for more analysis and fun stats.


TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 28, CU 17

Senior Dan Buckner got himself wide open and Denker lofted – and trust me the ball literally floated to him – the ball to the receiver for a 21-yard touchdown.

Denker is 9-for-10 with 122 yards and a score while Hirschman is 10-for-11 for 112 yards. Since Hirschman’s incompletion was a pick by Bondurant, only one pass has even hit the ground this half. The Pac-12 really hates defense.


TOUCHDOWN Colorado; UA 21, CU 17

Powell finishes the job he nearly had two plays earlier with a one-yard power run. Right now the freshman has 18 carries for 62 yards and two touchdowns. Arizona, on the other hand, has 20 total plays.

Time of possession doesn’t seem to be a big deal for Rodriguez – CU has had the ball 21:42, UA just 5:34 but the Wildcats lead by four.

Also, Colorado just surpassed its season average for points scored. The Arizona defense is definitely reeling.


That’s a shame for Colorado. Powell, the biggest starting running back in the Pac-12, rumbled toward the endzone but his helmet was ripped off.

The 6-foot, 235 pound freshman ended up scoring, or at least getting close, but because of the new rules the play was called dead where his helmet came off. I love power running like that, but safety is crucial, especially after Arizona had three concussion last weekend (Scott, left guard Chris Putton and free safety Jourdon Grandon).


Carey’s Race for the Record Book:

Right now Carey has 1,086 rushing yards on the season, 516 behind Trung Canidate’s 1,602 record set in 1999. Carey is even closer to the touchdown record with 16 on the season, five away from tying Art Luppino’s record.

Career-wise, Carey has 22 touchdowns right now as a sophomore. That puts him exactly halfway to Luppino’s career mark of 44 touchdowns from 1953-1956.

Finally, if Carey scores twice more this game he’ll tie Luppino’s single game total of five against New Mexico State in 1954.

See, math is fun kids.


TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 21, CU 10

So yeah, the whole Carey having a career game? It’s definitely on its way to happening. The sophomore just took the ball in from 30-yards out, which is impressive in itself.

But during the run he ran straight into the heart of the Buffs defense and took it through and past almost every single defender. There was no reason for that to become a score, but Carey made it look like a walk in the park.

Carey with eight rushes for 71 yards, meaning he’s getting 8.9 yards per carry. Including receiving yards, Carey already has 105 total yards and three touchdowns with 10:30 left in the SECOND quarter.

The score also tied him for second all-time with Kelvin Eafon for 16 rushing touchdowns on the season.


Almost 20 minutes into the game, Hirschman is perfect in his first career start. Unfortunately for Colorado, the sophomore’s last pass went directly to linebacker Tra’Mayne Bondurant who returned the pick 18 yards.

Still, Hirschman is 8-for-9 for 81 yards. He just shouldn’t throw any more screen passes directly at an Arizona defender.


TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 14, CU 10

This may be another breakout game for Carey – he already has 41 yards rushing, 34 receiving and the two touchdowns. Losing Scott for this game definitely isn’t going to help Arizona win, and concussions are never good for anyone. But if one person will benefit from the injury, at least this game, it’s Carey.

Carey’s the entire offense this game and since it looks like the Buffs will put up a fight, the sophomore should be able to pad his stats. When it’s all said and done, Carey will probably hold most of Arizona’s rushing records (barring any injuries).



Colorado leads the Wildcats 10-7 but the UA is driving right now. With the way the defenses are playing, this could be a high scoring game, even though two quarterbacks are making their first career starts.

The time of possession was dominated by Colorado that quarter: the Buffs ate 11:19 of the clock while the Wildcats had it just 3:41. Then again, it’s not like it takes too long to shred this vaunted Colorado defense.

Check out Zack Rosenblatt’s first quarter recap or follow MoonCameron20 and WildcatSports for more analysis.


FIELD GOAL Colorado; CU 10, Arizona 7

Colorado’s Will Oliver nails the 18-yard kick to put the Buffs up by three. The Field goal capped off the Buffs longest drive of the season and is only the second time they’ve scored twice in the first quarter. The other time? An early 14-0 lead against FCS Sacramento State who eventually “upset” Colorado 30-28.


Colorado takes a timeout with a forth and one from the one yard-line. The Buffs have been on an 8:14 yard drive taking 14 plays for 69 yards.

Instead of going for it, the Buffs decide to settle for a field goal.


TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 7, CU 7

Denker couldn’t have had a worse start to the game, but I think head coach Rich Rodriguez reminded the junior college transfer that they’re playing against the worst defense in college football (Colorado gives up the most points per game at a rate of 46).

Denker went 3-for-3 for 42 yards on the drive and Carey finished the drive off with a 10-yard run, his 14th rushing touchdown of the season. Carey is now alone at third place with Arizona’s single-season touchdown record. He passed running back Nic Grigsby’s 13-TD mark set in 2008 and is now seven away from tying Art Luppino’s record of 21.


TOUCHDOWN Colorado; CU 7, UA 0

On Arizona’s first play of the game, Denker botched the handoff to running back Ka’Deem Carey and Colorado recovered the fumble at the seven-yard-line. The Buffs’ big back, freshman Christian Powell pounded it into the end zone on the first play for an early lead (their first since a 7-6 lead against ASU on Oct. 11).

The “Vanilla Vick” era started out almost as poorly as it possible could have.


Colorado goes three-and-out, but also gave the Wildcats quite a scare. On a third and long, the Buffs hit a screen pass that went 75-yards for a touchdown but was called back for holding. The Buffs got a nice punt though and pinned Arizona at its own six-yard-line.


And we’re off! Arizona kicks off to Colorado who returns it to the 26-yard-line. The Buffaloes will be starting sophomore quarterback Nick Hirschman for his first career start. Junior Jordan Webb started the previous nine games for Colorado, but was demoted after the 48-0 loss to Stanford last week.

I guess when your team averages 16.1 points a game, the second worst total in the nation, it doesn’t hurt to try something new under center.


Happy Homecoming everyone. Today we’ll be live blogging the Pac-12 “battle” between Arizona (5-4, 2-4 Pac-12) and Colorado (1-8, 1-5) here at Arizona Stadium.

The game will kickoff in just under 20 minutes, and there are a couple of interesting story lines, mainly the performance of B.J. Denker. Quarterback Matt Scott suffered a concussion at UCLA last week, and didn’t participate in warm-ups today meaning it’s officially time for “Vanilla Vick”. As Zack Rosenblatt said, this game will be a preview of the Arizona team next year. That could be scary thought in a couple quarters.

Also, if the Wildcats can beat potentially the worst team in football (and really, Colorado is right there in the running), Arizona will be bowl eligible and should be invited to one no matter how the season ends.

Finally, in the earliest start time at Arizona Stadium since 1983, it’ll be interesting how many people actually show up. It is Homecoming, but the game starts at 11:35 against the worst team in the Pac-12. The crowd size has been an interesting subplot this entire season (still no sellouts).