Utes football: Arizona star Carey a tough task for Utah defense
The University of Utah's defense has held its own against most of the Pac-12's top running backs this season.
The Utes, however, faced another difficult task Saturday night against Arizona and Ka'Deem Carey, its star sophomore.
Carey entered the game at Rice-Eccles Stadium as the Pac-12's rushing leader. He averaged 138.1 yards against the 10th most difficult schedule in the country.
Through its first 10 games, Utah allowed only one inidvidual Washington's Bishop Sankey to rush for more than 95 yards.
Sankey carried 36 times for 162 yards and two touchdowns during the Huskies' 34-15 win at CenturyLink Field last week.
At the same time, Carey was destroying Colorado.
In the Wildcats' 56-31 victory over the Buffaloes, which made Arizona bowl-eligible, Carey finished with 366 yards on 25 carries. He scored five touchdowns.
"When you go from long run to long run and your linemen are really happy, you know you must be doing something right," Carey told the Denver Post.
Carey's 366 yards were the ninth-most in a single game in Football Bowl Subdivision history. He also broke Pac-12 and school records.
A product of Canyon del Oro High School in Tucson, Carey's five touchdowns against CU set another Arizona record.
He reeled off runs of 71, 64, 30, 26 and 25 yards against the Buff defense.
"Ka'Deem runs as hard and as angry as any back in the country," Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said. "We did a good job up front for him, but he's in great shape and he can take ... hits."
Colorado linebacker Derrick Webb agreed.
"Carey was able to find our gaps and go a long way," he said. "He's aggressive and explosive on tape, and he showed it. ... He can see a gap, burst through it and then it's off to the races."
Carey has been one of the reasons for Arizona's eye-popping turnaround this season.
After the Wildcats went 4-8 overall and 2-7 in the Pac-12 South under former coach Mike Stoops, they were 6-4 and already bowl-eligible before playing Utah.
Most bowl projections have Arizona going to the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 15 or the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 22.
Individual rushing performances against Utah
Player School Attempts Yards Average TDs
Bishop Sankey Washington 36 162 4.5 2
Kerwynn Williams Utah State 17 95 5.6 1
Chuckie Keeton Utah State 17 86 5.0 0
D.J. Foster Arizona State 10 70 7.0 0
Silas Redd USC 17 77 4.5 1
DeShaun Franklin UCLA 22 79 3.6 1