TUCSON, Ariz. – Numerous members of the Arizona football team, and defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel, were awarded national weekly honors on Sunday and Monday. The Wildcats upset then-No. 5 Oregon, 42-16, Saturday at Arizona Stadium. UA sits at 7-4 overall and 4-4 in Pac-12 play.
College Football Performance Awards named junior Ka’Deem Carey the national running back of the week. He rushed 48 times for 206 yards and four touchdowns in Arizona’s 42-16 win over the Ducks. He broke three Arizona records – carries in a game (48, replacing his own record of 39 from Oct. 19, 2013 vs. Utah), career rushing yards (3,913 yards, replacing Trung Canidate’s record of 3,824 yards set 1996-99) and career total touchdowns (49, replacing Art Luppino’s record of 48 set 1953-56). Carey’s 48 rushes are the most by any FBS player this season, breaking Tyler Gaffney’s (Stanford) total.
Senior quarterback B.J. Denker and sophomore punter Drew Riggleman earned CFPA Honorable Mention honors at their respective positions. Denker was nothing short of efficient on Saturday, completing 19 of his 22 attempted passes (with no interceptions or sacks) for 178 yards and two touchdowns. He also carried the ball 14 times for 102 yards. He averaged 7.3 yards per carry. Denker finished with a pass efficiency rating of 184.33, the second-best single-game performance of his career (214.46 vs. Colorado last season).
Riggleman punted just three times on Saturday vs. Oregon but was accurate and strong with a long of 48 and an average of 44.7 yards per kick. He totaled 134 yards and landed one inside the 20-yard line. The Ducks managed only 18 punt-return yards.
Athlon Sports named Ka’Deem Carey its Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week, Scooby Wright its Pac-12 Freshman of the Week and Casteel its Pac-12 Coordinator of the Week.
Wright intercepted the first pass of his young collegiate career on one of the most exciting plays of the college football season when Shaquille Richardson dove out of bonds and tipped a Marcus Mariota pass into Wright’s awaiting hands. Wright’s turnover led the Cats to their first of six touchdown drives. The freshman linebacker finished the game with six tackles, including one for a loss of 12 yards. He also ran for 13 return yards after his interception to start the game.
Guided by Casteel in his second season with the Wildcats, Arizona’s defense put together its most complete performance since head coach Rich Rodriguez and staff arrived at UA. Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota entered the game without throwing an interception in 285 pass attempts this season but threw two on Saturday against the Wildcats. UA has intercepted 15 passes this season, its most in a single campaign since totaling 16 in 2008.
The Wildcats also forced two fumbles, recovering one, for a plus-3 turn- over margin. UA also had a plus-3 turnover margin against NAU on Aug. 30 this season. UA’s defense held Oregon to its lowest point total of the season (16) and the lowest since Nov. 17, 2012, against Stanford (14-17 loss). UA’s defense limited Oregon to 1-for-5 on third-down conversion attempts in the first half. The Ducks finished 6-for-12 but were 1-for-3 on fourth-down attempts. The Wildcats were 11-of-16 on third downs.
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. The game will air on Pac-12 Networks with Glenn Parker, Ted Robinson and Drea Avent calling the action. Saturday’s contest will also air on Arizona IMG Sports Network, KCUB 1290 AM in Tucson and Fox Sports 910 AM in Phoenix.
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