It took a little over five quarters for Arizona Wildcats running back Ka’deem Carey to get his first touch of the season, but 10 seconds and 58 yards later, the nation’s reigning rushing leader was celebrating in the endzone.
Carey, who led the nation last season with 1,929 rushing yards, picked up right where he left off, rushing for 171 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns in the Wildcats’ 58-13 win over UNLV. He had been suspended for the early part of the season due to offseason, off-the field incidents.
“I saw it on the first play,” said Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez. “Ka’Deem is a player and everybody knows it. He runs hungry.”
The Wildcats finished with 397 yards on the ground, their second consecutive game with 300 or more rushing yards.
Running back Daniel Jenkins ran the ball 17 times for 79 yards, running back Jared Baker added 12 carries for 66 yards and quarterback B.J. Denker rushed for 63 yards on 17 carries with two touchdowns. Running back Kylan Butler added a rushing score in the fourth quarter.
In the air, Denker was held to less than 100 passing yards for the second consecutive game, this time finishing 8-for-21 for 81 yards.
“B.J. is a competitive guy and he knows what he can do better,” Rodriguez said. “He’s seeing the field well. He’s making good decisions. There are a couple of times where he tucked it and ran and did a really nice job. A couple of those throws, I know he wants back. He knows he’ll have to hit those in the future.”
While the offense outgained the Rebels 478-282, again it was the defense that carried the Wildcats.
UNLV quarterback Nick Sherry finished 6-for-22 for 111 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, both of which were returned for touchdowns. Linebacker Jake Fischer and safety Tra’mayne Bondurant returned the second quarter interceptions 49 and 52 yards, respectively.
Bondurant finished the game with four tackles, one sack and the interception – his third in two games. Linebacker Scooby Wright led the team with seven tackles.
The Rebels scored on two plays of 60-plus yards, a 69-yard Devante Davis reception in the second quarter and a 79-yard Shaquille Murray-Lawrence run in the fourth. Running back Tim Cornett was held to 62 yards on 15 carries.
The Wildcats were winning 45-6 at halftime.
The Wildcats play again next Saturday against University of Texas-San Antonio at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Ariz. The game will begin at 7:30 p.m. MST and will be broadcast live on Pac-12 Network.
For video highlights of the game, click here.
Topics: Arizona Wildcats, B.J. Denker, Daniel Jenkins, Devante Davis, Follow, Index, Jake Fischer, Jared Baker, Ka'deem Carey, Kylan Butler, Nick Sherry, Rich Rodriguez, Scooby Wright, Shaquille Murray-Lawrence, Tim Cornett, Tra'mayne Bondurant, UNLV Rebels