After a rocky off-season that included a domestic dispute and an altercation with a campus police officer, the stardom that Carey had coming off a masterful 2012 season was dimming.
But Carey has refocused himself on football, not outside distractions and once again is putting together a monster season.
“He’s 10 pounds heavier than he was last year and he’s a little faster,” said Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez. “He did a great job in the weight room with the strength staff. He understands the system better. I don’t think Ka’Deem had his best game against USC but he hasn’t had a bad game. He comes to play and has great passion for it.”
Through four games played (missed week one because of a team issued suspension) he has 687 total yards and five touchdowns. The offense once again goes through him and what has been as impressive as ever, is his ability to break tackles and gain extra yards after first contact.
“Watching film, it is sometimes that gray area, do I throw the football or do I hand it off,” mentioned Wildcats quarterback B.J. Denker. “Coach says ‘sometimes Ka’Deem will just make you right, when in doubt just give it to 25.’ He helps me as a quarterback tremendously. Sometimes when it’s third and five I ask ‘Do I throw the ball, what are they doing, let’s give it to 25 and he will get us a first down.’ I don’t think people realize how amazing he is, just at breaking tackles. He is going to get two or three yards a carry at least.”
Coming off a tough loss on the road to USC where they ran out of time to complete a second half comeback, Carey and the Wildcats now focus on a Utah Utes team that is as confident as ever coming off of one of the biggest upsets in college football so far this season.
“I thought offensively they executed about as well as they had all year, and everyone knows how stout Stanford is defensively,” explained Rodriguez. “The quarterback played well, they ran very well and were really able to do whatever they wanted to offensively. Defensively, they were very active. They’re a tough, physical team. They’ve played well all year and probably playing their best football right now.”
Rodriguez also noted that this is a physical and as experience team they have played so far. Citing the fact that they have five players who are 25 ears-old.
“I think they’ve always been physical and they pride themselves on that,” Rodriguez stated. “They’ve got some grown men so that helps, too. Not just from a strength standpoint but from a maturity standpoint, too.”
“There are definitely a physical team and they are big,” added Wildcats junior defensive lineman Reggie Gilbert. “They’re definitely a big team up front but we are just going to work hard at using our hands so we can dominate the line of scrimmage.”
The Wildcats and Utes square off in an important Pac-12 South matchup from Arizona Stadium on Saturday at 7pm. The broadcast of the game will be on the Pac-12 Networks.