After a humiliating loss to UCLA last week, Arizona Daily Star sports columnist Greg Hansen stated the loss to the Bruins illustrated that without Matt Scott, Arizona was the same team as Colorado. To put it bluntly, Hansen was dead wrong. The difference between Arizona and Colorado is that Arizona has Matt Scott…and a solid offensive line…and Austin Hill and Dan Buckner…and better coaching…and, well, Arizona has another game-changing guy named Ka’Deem Carey.
With Matt Scott sitting on the sidelines due to a head injury he suffered last week against UCLA, Carey decided to take the game into his own hands. Out of Arizona’s 547 offensive yards, Carey had 400 of them. Out of the eight touchdowns, Carey ran into the endzone with five. He broke the all time Pac-12 Conference record for most rushing yards in a single game with 366. The Wildcats took it to Colorado 56-31 and are now bowl-eligible with a 6-4 record–who would have thought?
And Carey didn’t do everything on his own. Arizona’s offensive line created holes big enough to direct traffic. Backup quarterback B.J. Denker had a solid performance, throwing 12 out of 14 for 136 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, rushing for 44 yards and one touchdown. This isn’t the kind of air attack we have seen from the Wildcats this year, but Denker did enough to show Colorado he was capable of throwing and kept the Buffaloes honest enough to give Carey more room to run (Besides, it is not like Arizona had to do much throwing when Carey ran more yards in one game than most good running backs will have in three). Denker was capable of throwing the ball more if he had to.
So, Greg Hansen overreacted a bit. The only similarity between Arizona and Colorado is their abysmal defenses. The truth of the matter is, without Matt Scott, Arizona is still a much better team than Colorado because their offense is still a force to be reckoned with–Ka’Deem Carey will make sure of it.