“I have never been blown out like this before in my life.”
That statement made by Oregon Duck quarterback Marcus Mariota who in the 42-16 loss Saturday at the hands of the Arizona Wildcats, threw his first two interceptions of the season and also had a fumble in the game.
“Well, that was fun,” said Arizona Wildcats head coach Rich Rodriguez. “It was a great way for our seniors to go out. We executed well and tried to make them earn everything. B.J. (Denker) was sharp, Ka’Deem (Carey) was Ka’Deem. I think he is the best back in the country. This was a great opportunity and we took advantage of it. We were really dialed in the whole game.”
As Rodriguez mentioned, Carey and Denker were on their games. Denker had as solid an outing as he has had all season only throwing three incompletions in 22 attempts for 178 yards and two touchdowns as well as 105 yards rushing in the game.
“I don’t think I’ve played a better-feeling game,” said Denker. “I just tried to do my job on every play. I worked on some things in practice this week that I didn’t do las week. I’m just trying to get better each week and play within the system.”
“He was really sharp today,” mentioned Rodriguez. “For a guy that nobody knew about, I am proud of him.”
The legend that is Ka’Deem Carey added more accolades to his already fantastic resume since he has been at Arizona. In the game he broke Trung Candidate’s all-team leading rushing yards record (3,913 yards now for Carey) and set the all-time record for rushing touchdowns (49) as well. In the game he ran for 208 yards on 48 carries and scored four touchdowns.
“It means a lot for this program and my family,” Carey stated after the game. “Being raised here, I felt like I put on for Tucson and we have magic out here.”
“He is going to get a lot of individual accolades and he absolutely deserves them,” added Rodriguez. “But he is about the team first the way he prepares. He’s a physical hungry runner. There were some holes that weren’t made that he made. I love the way he approaches the game.”
The Wildcats also had probably their best defensive performance of the Rich Rodriguez era. They allowed an Oregon Duck offense that had been averaging over 50 points per game to just 16 points and forced three turnovers in the game.
“We knew that they were going to come out here and try to do different things,” said senior linebacker Jake Fischer who had 14 total tackles in his final game at Arizona Stadium. “We were zoning in on what they were going to do and made the necessary adjustments. We did a good job getting after the quarterback and making him feel uncomfortable.”
“We just didn’t make the most of out opportunities,” Marcus Mariota explained. “We were missing reads, I have to get the ball to those guys. Sometimes when you miss those opportunities you don’t get into a rhythm because offense is very rhythm-based and when you can’t push the ball down the field, you put a lot of strain on your defense.”
“We believe we can beat anyone on any given day,” Fischer mentioned. “We proved it tonight and I am glad that we could finally beat Oregon. It feels great.”