TUCSON - A stellar defensive effort and a record-breaking performance from Ka’Deem Carey helped Arizona upset fifth-ranked Oregon, 42-16, giving the Wildcats their first victory over a top-five opponent since a 2007 victory over the Ducks.
Arizona held Oregon to 16 points and 506 yards; the Ducks averaged better than 50 points and 580 yards per game entering the contest. The Wildcats, who led 28-9 at the half, held Oregon to a single score in the second half. Both the 16 total and seven second-half points were season-lows for Oregon.
Carey rushed for 208 yards, giving him 3,915 career yards, surpassing Trung Canidate’s 3,824 accumulated from 1996-99. Additionally, Carey found the endzone four times on the afternoon, giving the junior 49 career touchdowns, setting the record for career touchdowns, one better than Art Luppino.
B.J. Denker completed 19 of 22 passes for 178 yards and two scores and rushed for 102 yards.
The Wildcats grabbed momentum on the first play from scrimmage when Marcus Mariota’s pass appeared to be headed harmlessly toward the sideline until Shaquille Richardson leaped and tossed the ball back in bounds to a waiting Scooby Wright. It marked the first interception of the season for Mariota, who had gone 343 passes without a pick.
The Cats cashed in on the opportunity with a nine-play, 45-yard touchdown drive capped off by Carey’s six-yard TD scamper. After the defense forced a three-and-out, the Wildcats drove 59 yards in 10 plays and B.J. Denker found Nate Phillips for a score.
Oregon got on the scoreboard with a Matt Wogan 33-yard field goal with 2:49 remaining in the quarter.
The Cats added on in the second quarter when Denker found Terrence Miller for the five-yard score capping a 16-play, 83-yard drive. Miller finished with a career-high nine catches for 88 yards on senior day.
Oregon responded with its first touchdown of the game. Mariota found Pharaoh Brown for a one-yard score.
Driving near the end of the second half, Oregon’s offense appeared to be rolling until Tra’Mayne Bondurant forced a fumble, one of four Oregon turnovers on the day.
The Ducks’ next drive fell short on fourth down and the Cats cashed in with 18 seconds remaining in the half when Carey scored from one yard out.
Carey scored again with 2:07 remaining in the third quarter, scoring from nine yards out to make it 35-9 Wildcats.
Oregon inched closer when Mariota tossed a two-yard touchdown pass to Josh Huff to bring Oregon within three scores.
Carey’s record-breaking 49th score with 8:59 remaining was his fourth of the game and capped an important drive which took 5:12 seconds off the clock.
Oregon’s final drive reached Arizona’s 13-yard line before Mariota tossed his second interception of the game and the season. Richardson picked off Mariota to seal the Arizona victory.
Arizona returns to action for its final regular-season game of the season, a matchup with Arizona State in Tempe on Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. MST.