Last season, the UCLA Bruins crushed the Arizona Wildcats in Pasadena in a 66-10 rout the sent the Cats back into the middle of the pack in the Pac 12 standings while catapulting the Bruins back to the Pac 12 title. That game was also the last time running back Ka’Deem Carey failed to crack the 100-yard rushing mark. With the Bruins coming to Tucson this weekend with huge Pac 12 South implications on the line, can Carey and the Cats find some payback?
Since that loss to the Bruins, Carey has run the ball as well as anyone in the country. Over the last 11 games, he’s rushed for 1,986 yards and 20 touchdowns. He finished the 2012 season as the country’s leading rusher and is once again leading college football in rushing, averaging 153.1 yards per game. He has looked very strong running the football as the focal point of the Arizona offense in 2013 and is coming off a nice day against the Cal Bears where he rushed for 152 yards on 32 carries and led the Cats to their third-straight win.
UCLA head coach Jim Mora knows the importance of keeping Carey contained but knows that last season’s effort was more a product of circumstances and not some Herculean effort out of his defense. The Bruins jumped out to a quick 21-0 lead in last year’s game which took Carey out of the gameplan with Arizona throwing to try and get back into the game. Carey’s 16 touches were the second-fewest of 2012, though UCLA did contain him to just 3.38 yards per carry. “You don’t necessarily bottle up Ka’Deem Carey,” Mora said this week. “You try and limit his explosive plays against you.”
Arizona needs to keep Carey involved in the gameplan this time around and get him loose for some big runs if they hope to get some payback for last season’s embarrassing defeat. With a win, Arizona would put itself in great position to make a run at the Pac 12 South division title with a regular season finale coming up against the division-leading Arizona State Sun Devils. Will Carey carry the Wildcats to the win?