Cat Tracks: Carey's big day gives Wildcats much-needed win
Consider the first test passed.
The Wildcats (3-2, 1-2 Pac-12) held on for a 35-24 win in Tucson behind another monster game from running back Ka'Deem Carey and opportunistic performance by the defense.
The UA offense racked up 468 total yards of offense -- 300 of which came on the ground -- while holding Utah to 329 total yards. The Wildcats converted on 12 of 20 third downs while holding Utah to a 5-of-18 conversion rate.
Carey was his typical hard-running self, picking up 236 yards and a score on a school-record 40 carries.
Quarterback B.J. Denker played one of his better games of the season, completing 18-of-30 passes for 168 yards and a score, and giving the Wildcats' offense a level of balance it had yet to achieve this season.
The Arizona receiving corps made a few downfield plays, and the Wildcats' defense held its own, recording three sacks and forcing 2 turnovers, including a pick-six by linebacker Marquis Flowers to put the UA ahead 14-7.
Carey lost a fumble at the Arizona 39-yard line with 7:05 to play, giving Utah a chance to take the lead. But Arizona's defense held and Utah kicker Andy Phillips missed a 40-yard field goal -- his second miss of the game after entering the contest perfect on the season.
But in an all-around well-played game, the Wildcats still had a few other costly miscues. The Arizona defense allowed a number of gashing plays, including a flea-flicker that went 55 yards for a touchdown, and punt returner Johnny Jackson muffed a pair of kicks -- one of which was recovered by Utah.
Jake Smith also had an extra point blocked, though the Wildcats made up for that by later converting on a two-point conversion.
Arizona travels to Colorado to take on the Buffaloes Saturday at 5 p.m.
- No QB yet, but Wildcats a little closer after spring game
- NFL Draft '14: Recapping Arizona's Pro Day and looking ahead to ASU's
- UA's Rodriguez: Proposed play clock rule would change fundamentals of game
- UA's Rodriguez: Don't expect QB to be named by end of spring
- Arizona moves first two games of 2014 season to weekdays
- Bearing Down with Adam and Jarrett - Tuesday April 15Adam and Jarrett talk about UA's early departures.
- Bearing Down with Adam and Jarrett - Thursday April 3Adam and Jarrett recap a tough loss as well as the season itself.
- Bearing Down with Adam and Jarrett - Friday March 28Adam and Jarrett talk about Arizona's run to the Elite 8.
- Bickley Blast - Friday March 28Arizonans can all rally around this University of Arizona basketball team.
- Paul Bessire, predictionmachine.com - Wednesday March 26Paul Bessire reacts to the first week of the NCAA Tournament.