As great as Ka’Deem Carey’s 25-carry, 366-yard game was last year against Colorado, there’s one run he really wishes ended differently.
You know which one.
Arizona was leading 42-17 in the third quarter when Carey took a handoff from quarterback B.J. Denker on a first-and-10 from Arizona’s 19-yard line. He bolted through an open hole and looked to be on his way to another touchdown.
Instead, Arizona’s All-America running back was caught from behind by Colorado’s Terrel Smith and tackled at Colorado’s 10-yard line.
It was the most disappointing 71-yard gain of Carey’s career.
“I got hawked down,” Carey said smiling this week. “I spent all offseason trying to break away and get away. That’s not going to happen again.
“Long story short, that’s not going to happen again.”
Colorado may have a new coach and a few new faces on defense, but Carey is hoping for a repeat performance against the Buffaloes Saturday in Boulder, Colo. In fact, he wouldn’t mind eclipsing that 366-yard mark, which is an Arizona and Pac-12 single-game record.
“That’s the goal stepping on the field every time,” Carey said.
First-year Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre was enjoying a bye week last year as head coach of San Jose State the day Carey torched the Buffs defense and led Arizona to a 56-31 win. But now Carey is his problem to deal with Saturday.
“I wish we were going against Jim Carrey and not Ka’Deem Carey,” MacIntyre joked earlier this week. “He is an unbelievable player. I think they gave it to him 40 times against Utah the other night and he’s a beast of a ball carrier. He really is.”
One thing is for sure; he was a beast last year against the Buffaloes.
Carey got carries on nine of Arizona’s 11 drives last year. Here’s a drive-by-drive look:
The drive: Nine plays, 80 yards, touchdown.
Carey’s stats: Five carries, 26 yards, one touchdown.
Number to know: Minus-3. Carey’s third carry of the game actually resulted in a three-yard loss.
Longest run: 13 yards.
How the drive ended: A 10-yard touchdown run from Carey.
The drive: 8 plays, 64 yards, touchdown.
Carey’s stats: Two carries, 15 yards, one touchdown.
Number to know: 34. Carey also had 34 receiving yards on this drive, catching passes of 26 and eight yards respectively.
Longest run: 13 yards.
How the drive ended: A 13-yard touchdown from the man himself.
The drive: Two plays, 49 yards, touchdown.
Carey’s stats: One carry for a 30-yard touchdown.
Number to know: 71. Carey had 71 yards on six carries to this point in the game. His 30-yard touchdown came with 10:30 to play in the second quarter.
Longest run: 30 yards.
How the drive ended: Carey scored from 30 yards out, following a 19-yard rush from receiver Garic Wharton.
The drive: Six plays, 79 yards, touchdown.
Carey’s stats: Four carries, 50 yards.
Number to know: 47. Carey gained 47 yards over two carries this drive with gains of 26 and 21 yards.
Longest run: Carey gained 26 yards on his first rush of the drive.
How the drive ended: After Carey was tackled for a loss of one yard, quarterback B.J. Denker found receiver Dan Buckner for a 21-yard touchdown pass to give the UA a 28-17 lead just more than a minute before halftime.
The drive: Six plays, 73 yards, touchdown.
Carey’s stats: Three carries, 61 yards.
Number to know: 111. Carey started racking up the yards here, gaining 111 yards on just seven carries over his fourth and fifth drives of the game.
Longest run: After Denker rushed for a one-yard gain, Carey took off for a 46-yard run on the second play of the drive.
How the drive ended: Denker again hit Buckner for a touchdown to give the UA a 35-17 lead early in the third quarter.
The drive: Seven plays, 49 yards, touchdown
Carey’s stats: Five carries, 40 yards, one touchdown.
Number to know: 20. When this drive ended with 6:47 to play in the third quarter, Carey had 20 carries for 222 yards and four touchdowns.
Longest run: 14 yards.
How the drive ended: Carey scored from eight yards out to give the UA a 42-17 lead.
The drive: Two plays, 81 yards, touchdown.
Carey’s stats: 1 carry, 71 yards.
Number to know: 73. Carey’s 71-yard run was his second-longest of the season. The Canyon del Oro High School product had a 73-yard touchdown run in the team’s first game of the season against Toledo.
Longest run: The 71-yard gain where he was “hawked down” from behind.
How the drive ended: Denker scored on a 10-yard run.
The drive: Three plays, two yards, punt.
Carey’s stats: Two carries, six yards.
Number to know: 0. Carey ran for no gain on his second carry of the drive.
Longest run: Six yards.
How the drive ended: A Kyle Dugandzic punt.
The drive: Five plays, 88 yards, touchdown.
Carey’s stats: Two carries, 67 yards.
Number to know: 8:01. Carey’s final carry of the game came with 8:01 to play.
Longest run: 64 yards.
How the drive ended: Carey scored his final touchdown on a three-yard gain to close the scoring and make it 56-31.