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Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey retains national rushing lead

Not a happy site for opposing defenses: Ka'Deem Carey in open space. Photo by Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Not a happy sight for opposing defenses: Ka’Deem Carey in open space. Photo by Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Wildcats running back Ka’Deem Carey, limited to “only” 119 yards at Colorado, holds the nation’s rushing lead for the second consecutive week.

Carey rushed 23 times for 119 yards and four touchdowns in the 44-20 victory, leaving the game 30 seconds into the final quarter.

It wasn’t so much that Arizona was up by 21 points; it was that coach Rich Rodriguez was trying to protect his star junior from hurting what sounds like a minor elbow injury.

Carey told reporters after the game that his arm “got numb on me” at halftime, but that he “felt good” afterward.

Said Rodriguez: “Ka’Deem is a freak of nature in my opinion. His elbow was bothering him the whole second half. They were loading up the box and he was fighting for every yard.”

Carey’s 119 rushing yards was his lowest total during a 10-game streak of 100-yard games.

He is averaging 153.3 rushing yards per game, ahead of last season’s pace of 148.8 that led the country.

(It’s worth noting, again, that Carey, who has played in one or two fewer games than the rest of the nation’s top rushers, is only 10th in total yards. It doesn’t matter. The NCAA rushing champion is determined by average per game, not total yards. The only caveat is that a player must appear in 75 percent of his team’s games to qualify.)

It’s also worth noting that the athletic department is back to promoting Carey nationally under the hashtag #TeamKaDeem. Arizona had started a publicity campaign for Carey late last season but abandoned it during Carey’s offseason turmoil.

Carey will take aim this weekend at the Cal Bears, who are 90th nationally in rush defense, allowing 189.1 yards per game. Washington’s Bishop Sankey went for 241 yards vs. Cal on Saturday night to move from seventh to third in the national rushing race.

Here are the nation’s top five rushers:

Rk Player, school G Rush Rush Yds Rush TD YPG
1. Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona 6 156 920 10 153.3
2. Antonio Andrews, Western Ky. 8 180 1,180 11 147.5
3. Bishop Sankey, Washington 8 199 1,162 12 145.3
4. Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin 7 107 1,012 11 144.6
5. Andre Williams, Boston College 7 183 1,010 8 144.3
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