TUCSON, Ariz. – Each week, Arizona football head coach Rich Rodriguez and his staff will select Player of the Week honorees based on performance leading up to and including the game each week. The Wildcats defeated UNLV, 58-13, Saturday night at Sam Boyd Stadium is Las Vegas, Nev.
Offense: Ka’Deem Carey, Junior, Running Back
In Arizona’s 58-13 win at UNLV, Carey took his first handoff of the season and raced 58 yards for a touchdown, picking up where he left off from an All-American sophomore season that saw him lead the nation in rushing in 2012. He secured his 11th career 100-yard game with nine carries for 110 yards all in the second quarter alone. He finished with a game-high 171 yards on 16 carries, including 10.7 yards per carry. His 58-yard touchdown burst was the second-longest scoring run in his career, and he followed it with a 12-yarder to push his career rushing touchdown tally to 31, second-most in program history.
Defense: Jake Fischer, Senior, Linebacker
Fischer led Arizona to another dominating defensive effort in a 58-13 rout of UNLV last Saturday in Las Vegas. In the second quarter, he intercepted his first career pass and turned it into a 49-yard touchdown, also the first score of his career. While being credited with just one tackle, Fischer and the Wildcats’ defense stymied the Rebels all night, holding the home squad to only 10 first downs and 282 yards of offense. The two-touchdown game for the Arizona defense was its first in a span of 202 contests dating to a 41-0 blasting of Illinois on Sept. 14, 1996 (three INT scores in that game). In all, the Wildcats’ defense has scored three touchdowns in two games this season while allowing only two touchdowns to the opposition.
Special Teams: Jake Smith, Senior, Kicker
Smith set a new school record with 16 points by kicking to help lead Arizona past UNLV, 58-13, last Saturday night in Las Vegas. In his first season as the Wildcats starting place kicker, Smith collected his first made field goal with a 41-yard boot to put Arizona on top 3-0 after its first possession. Smith went on to convert 3-of-4 field goals (made 29 and 30, missed 39) and knocked home all seven extra points he tried. The tally of 16 points broke the previous single-game record for kickers of 15 held previous by three different players. In addition to tacking on points, Smith also kicked off 11 times in the game with five touchbacks and a 63.3-yard average. The Rebels mustered only 16.5 yards per return on six tries, and Smith registered one tackle on one of his kickoffs to stop a potential long return.
Freshman linebacker Scooby Wright, who led the team in tackles against UNLV with seven, was named Hard Edge Player of the Week twice in as many weeks. Junior cornerback Jonathan McKnight was named Student of the Week.
From the scout team, sophomore receiver Cayleb Jones on offense, freshman defensive lineman Parker Zellers on defense and senior cornerback Justin Samuels on special teams were honored for their efforts during the UNLV game preparations.
The Wildcats will come back to Tucson next weekend, hosting the UTSA Roadrunners on Saturday for a 7:30 PDT kickoff. The game will be televised by the Pac-12 Network, and tickets can be purchased by calling 520-621-CATS, at the McKale Center Ticket Office, or visiting ArizonaWildcats.com.For continued coverage of Arizona football, follow the team on Facebook at facebook.com/ArizonaFootball and on Twitter @ArizonaFBall.