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Arizona’s B.J. Denker is the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week

B.J. Denker is the first Arizona QB to win POW honors since 2010. Photo by Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

B.J. Denker is the first Arizona QB to win POW honors since 2010. Photo by Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Pac-12 rewarded Arizona Wildcats quarterback B.J. Denker for having the game of his life by selecting him the conference’s Offensive Player of the Week.

Denker ran 15 times for 192 yards and completed 21 of 32 passes for 265 yards, with one touchdown and one interception at Colorado. The rushing yards were a UA record for a quarterback.

His 457 total yards rank as the sixth-best single game total in school history.

He had runs for 54 and 46 yards.

“I wasn’t surprised. I was just trying to get north and south as fast as possible,” he said after the 44-20 win over the Buffaloes. “I was trying not to get caught, and I got caught a couple of times unfortunately.”

Denker also completed six passes of more than 20 yards in an improving Arizona air attack.

In a league filled with top-notch skill players, Denker would have seemed an unlikely choice to be Offensive Player of the Week. He still ranks 12th in the league in passing yards per game (177.3) and passing efficiency (120.7 rating), but he is first among Pac-12 quarterbacks in rushing (74.1 yards per game).

Arizona needs Denker to continue to make defenses pay for devoting extra personnel to try to stop All-American running back Ka’Deem Carey.

“The way they were playing us, they were going to take away a lot of Ka’Deem’s inside runs so B.J. had some opportunities,” coach Rich Rodriguez said after Saturday’s game.

Denker’s main competition for the weekly award was Washington running Bishop Sankey, who set a career-high with 241 rushing yards on 27 carries in a win over California. He scored two touchdowns, including one from 59 yards.

Arizona has won the Pac-12 weekly award for offense in back-to-back weeks. Carey earned the honor after rushing 39 times for 232 yards in a win over Utah.

Surprisingly, Matt Scott did not win Pac-12 Offensive POW honors last season, although he is the last UA quarterback to take home the award. He did so in 2010 against Washington while starting for an injured Nick Foles.

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