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Arizona football notes: Cats really need this bye week

Wayne Capers Jr.

An injury to safety Jared Tevis meant more playing time for true freshman Wayne Capers Jr., who had the tough task of defending Stanford tight end Zach Ertz on this play. Photo by Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

The Arizona Wildcats have run 543 plays from scrimmage, the second-most in the country. UA has defended a national-high 494 plays through six games.

Let’s just say these are some tired Cats.

Arizona’s bye week comes right in the middle of the schedule, and just in time.

“From a health standpoint, we need a month off,” coach Rich Rodriguez said on his postgame radio show following a 54-48 overtime loss at Stanford.

“I mean, a week might help a little bit. I don’t know how many guys we’re going to get back. Right now, we’re as razor thin as could be. We needed a week off a month ago, but we’ll take it now.”

The Wildcats were down five starters against Stanford — safety Jared Tevis (ankle), center Kyle Quinn (ankle), defensive end Dominique Austin (foot), right guard Trace Biskin (toe) and defensive tackle Reggie Gilbert (ankle).

Rodriguez, who did not inherit a deep team from Mike Stoops to begin with, has lost several other potential key players since spring ball, including safety Adam Hall (ACL), linebacker Brian Wagner (left team), linebacker Rob Hankins (had to quit football because of concussion problems), and offensive linemen Jacob Arzouman, Lene Maiava and Jack Baucus to knee injuries.

Numerous others, especially those on the offensive line and the back eight on defense, are on fumes from having to be on the field so much.

On the bright side, junior defensive lineman Justin Washington, who had been suspended for the first five games, made his season debut at Stanford, recording one tackle.

Arizona (3-3 overall, 0-3 Pac-12) is scheduled to take Sunday and Monday off before practicing Tuesday through Thursday. The Wildcats return to action Oct. 20 at home against Washington.

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Arizona gained 617 yards against Stanford, the fourth-highest total in school history and the most-ever vs. a Pac-12 opponent.

The school record for total offense is 691 yards against New Mexico in 1969. The 2012 Wildcats have the No. 2 game on the list (689 yards vs. South Carolina State) and the third-best game of total yardage (624 yards vs. Toledo).

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Stanford matched UA’s yardage total exactly — 617 — which was the most for the Cardinal since gaining 672 in a 1999 game against San Jose State.

The Cardinal successfully deployed their big and talented tight ends against the Arizona defense, beating linebackers, safeties and cornerbacks. Levine Toilolo and Zach Ertz had a combined 11 catches for 205 yards and two scores.

Toilolo had receptions of 46 and 42 yards.

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Arizona sophomore running back Ka’Deem Carey rushed 29 times for 132 yards and three touchdowns against Stanford, giving him four 100-yard games in the first half of the season.

Carey has 670 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns through six games, continuing a pace that would be result in one of the best seasons ever for a UA running back.

“I believe my front line is great,” he told reporters after the Stanford game. “They gave me the holes I needed and I just ran the ball hard.”

Carey also made seven receptions for 68 yards.

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