Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Oregon defensive coordinator on Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey: ‘Awesome’

If Oregon stops B.J. Denker and Ka'Deem Carey on the ground, Arizona has little chance. Photo by Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

If Oregon stops B.J. Denker and Ka’Deem Carey on the ground, Arizona has little chance. Photo by Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

RELATED: Arizona football: Enjoy Ka’Deem Carey while you can

Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti chose his words carefully when talking about the Arizona Wildcats offense — but not when praising Ka’Deem Carey — as he met with reporters this week.

“Awesome running back. Awesome,” Aliotti said.

“One of the best in the country, without a doubt. I’m not saying that because we’re playing him this week. He’s really good. He can hit it up there fast; he’s shifty; he can bump it outside; he can change direction.

“Not only is he a strong inside runner, he can make you miss in space. He hits holes very fast. I’m impressed with Ka’Deem Carey. He’s as good a back as there is in the country.”

How to stop him?

“We have to do our job, read our keys, stay in our gaps,” Aliotti said.

“If he comes in our gap, we have to make a tackle. A guy like this makes it harder some times because he hits it in there so fast that you have to be able to react and come off your block and make the tackle.”

There’s not much for Oregon to respect from Arizona’s passing attack, especially deep. Arizona is tied for 106th out of 125 teams with 22 pass plays of 20-plus yards. The Cats have connected on just eight completions of at least 30 yards, a figure that is tied for 111th nationally.

“Not to say they can’t throw the ball — I don’t want that to be misconstrued, OK? — but if we stop the run, stop Ka’Deem and stop the quarterback, that will go a long way toward us having success on our side of the ball Saturday,” Aliotti said.

Oregon is 33rd nationally against the run, allowing 143.7 yards per game, as it prepares to take on Carey (the nation’s second leading rusher at 150.3 yards per game) and quarterback B.J. Denker (the Pac-12′s top rushing quarterback at 70.9 yards per game).

“We have to stop that quarterback, because that quarterback is a really good runner,” Aliotti said.

“I don’t like that. He’s fast and he’s good.”

Search site | Terms of service