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Arizona-Oregon game blog: Wildcats upset the Ducks, 42-16

Coach Rich Rodriguez congratulates Ka'Deem Carey after a fourth-quarter touchdown. Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Coach Rich Rodriguez congratulates Ka’Deem Carey after a fourth-quarter touchdown. Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona beats fifth-ranked Oregon 42-16, an upset that ranks among the best games in school history.

Ka’Deem Carey rushed 48 times for 206 yards and four touchdowns, becoming the school’s career leading rusher, constantly churning for yardage and moving the chains as the Wildcats stayed in control of the game. B.J. Denker had the game of his life — 19 of 22 for 178 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions, while also rushing 14 times for 102 yards.

“I thought B.J. was really sharp, and Ka’Deem was his usual Ka’Deem,” coach Rich Rodriguez said. “He’s the best running back in the country.

“I’m really proud. Our seniors got a great memory.”

Arizona, which was coming off a disheartening loss to Washington State, improved to 7-4 overall and 4-4 in the Pac-12, back in solid standing in terms of the bowl chase. Next up is the Territorial Cup at Arizona State on Saturday.

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Going down to the field. Be back with lots more after the game….

* * *

B.J. Denker, the kid who couldn’t buy a scholarship out of high school, is 19 of 22 for 178 yards, with 95 rushing yards, vs. Oregon. The day of his life.

* * *

Does anyone in Arizona Stadium need a refresher on when to rush the field?

* * *

Arizona tells Oregon what it can do with its comeback, marching 75 yards on 12 plays in 5:12. Arizona is up 42-16 with 8:59 left. Wow.

* * *

Ka’Deem. Again. This time from 1 yard. He has 49 career TDs, 45 career rushing TDs. Both are school records.

* * *

B.J. Denker still having the game of his life. He runs for 35 yards to the Oregon 40. Big play.

* * *

Oregon isn’t likely to go quietly. The Ducks cut the lead to 35-16 with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Josh Huff with 14:11 to go. The Wildcats at least need some first downs and eat some clock in response.

* * *

Official attendance: 45,777. Funny how the Zona Zoo section filled in after halftime, rather than the usual halftime exodus.

* * *

Ka’Deem Carey makes a cut in the backfield and goes around right end for a 9-yard score to make it 35-9 with 2:07 to go in the third quarter. This is shaping up to be one of the most stunning results of the college football season.

What a weird world: Arizona is playing like Oregon, and Oregon is [playing like Arizona did in its loss to Washington State last week.

Carey now has 44 rushing touchdowns and 48 total touchdowns for his career, tied with Art Luppino for both school records.

* * *

He does it. With a 20-yard run, Ka'Deem carey breaks Trung Canidate's career rushing record of 3,824 yards. During the next timeout, Arizona shows career highlights of Carey and cuts to Canidate applauding on the sideline. Nicely done.

* * *

Win the critical situations? Check. Oregon reaches the Arizona 2-yard line but Marcus Mariota throws incomplete to Josh Huff to turn the ball over on downs.

* * *

Opening possession of second half does not set the tone Arizona wants. The Cats go three-and-out, with B.J. Denker keeping for no gain around left end on third-and-2 from the UA 33.

* * *

Halftime: Arizona leads fifth-ranked Oregon 28-9.

B.J. Denker is 13 of 15 for 142 yards. Terrence Miller is another senior who has having the day of his life, tying his career high with eight receptions.

Ka'Deem Carey has 95 yards on 24 carries, needing 23 yards to break the UA career rushing record of 3,824 yards.

* * *

Arizona takes advantage of the turnover on downs for a late-half touchdown drive, capped by a 1-yard run from Ka'Deem Carey. The Wildcats are up 28-9.

* * *

Big play: Arizona stops Oregon on fourth-and-2 from the UA 41 with one minute left. Marcus Mariota scrambles and fumbles near the first-down marker, with the Ducks recovering past the first-down line. But, by rule, on fourth down, the ball goes back to the spot of the fumble, which is short of the first down.

So, it's a fourth-down conversion failure ... and UA takes over.

So many key plays have gone Arizona's way, which is what underdogs need to happen.

* * *

The Cats have to punt after the turnover, but Drew Riggleman rugby-styles it 48 yards to the Oregon 1.

* * *

Arizona gets its second turnover of the game, as Tra'Mayne Bondurant strips the ball from Thomas Tyner, with Jourdon Grandon recovering at the UA 46. Oregon is one of the nation's best in turnover margin (plus-1.1 per game). This is how upsets happen.

* * *

B.J. Denker's first quick-kick punt of the season is a good one, rolling down at the Oregon 4 after traveling 44 yards.

* * *

Oregon is finding its rhythm on offense. The Ducks go for it on fourth down inside the 1, with Marcus Mariota passing out of the shotgun for tight end Pharoah Brown over the middle. Brown uses his size edge to haul in the pass amid coverage from Jared Tevis.

The Ducks' two-point fake fails, though, and the UA remains up 21-9 with 7:39 to go before halftime.

* * *

Arizona is winning all the key situations, going 7-for-7 on third-down conversions, including a 5-yard TD pass from B.J. Denker to Terrence Miller on third-and-goal. Denker runs down the line to his left and then pulls up to a wide-open Miller near the sideline.

Arizona is up 21-3 with 11:32 to go in the second quarter, so college football updates all across the country have this one on upset alert.

* * *

The first quarter ends with Arizona up 14-3, with the ball. Ka'Deem Carey exhorts the crowd to make noise as the teams switch sides. He has 61 rushing yards as the Cats are doing a nice job with ball control. He needs 57 to break UA record.

* * *

Arizona gets a defensive "win." Oregon was seemingly inside the 1, but a replay review moves the ball back to the 6. Then, a pass-rushing Scooby Wright, draws a holding penalty on a play in which Marcus Mariota ran for a TD. The Ducks settle for a 33-yard field goal from Matt Wogan with 2:49 to go in the quarter.

Arizona is up 14-3.

* * *

Arizona puts Oregon in a 14-0 hole by going 59 yards in 10 plays on its second possession. Cats are playing fast and picking up small chunks of yards along the way, keeping the chains moving. Arizona scores on a 9-yard pass from B.J. Denker to Nate Phillips with 7:09 to go in the quarter.

* * *

And, hey, look at this ... someone turned the sun on at Arizona Stadium.

* * *

The Ducks go three-and-out on their second possession after a dropped pass by De'Anthony Thomas. If there's one team that doesn't care about a slow start, it's Oregon. So explosive.

On the other hand, it's up to Arizona to pounce if Oregon isn't as focused as it needs to be.

* * *

B.J. Denker getting an ankle taped between series. Something to keep an eye on.

* * *

It's a perfect start to the underdog script. Arizona follows the first-play INT with a XXX-yard scoring drive, capped by a typical Ka'Deem Carey touchdown run. He goes 6 yards up the middle, shredding tackles along the way to fight across the goal line.

Arizona grabs early momentum and the lead, 7-0 with 11:51 to go in the quarter.

Bad news: It looks like starting LT Mickey Baucus hurt a knee on the TD run. He is helped off the field.

* * *

It takes one pass for Arizona to end Marcus Mariota's Pac-12 streak of 343 passes without an interception on the first play from scrimmage. Shaq Richardson tips a sideline pass into the air, with linebacker Scooby Wright settling under it, with a foot barely inbounds, for the INT.

Arizona cornerback Shaquille Richardson tips a ball in bounds prior to a teammate intercepting it against Oregon wide receiver Bralon Addison in the first quarter. Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona cornerback Shaquille Richardson tips a ball in bounds prior to a teammate intercepting it against Oregon wide receiver Bralon Addison in the first quarter. Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

* * *

Oregon wins the toss and will receive, so we will be off to the races.

* * *

Arizona receiver Austin Hill is dressed out and went through warm-ups, for whatever that’s worth. He’s listed as “out” on UA’s non-binding injury report — again, for what that’s worth — so he isn’t expected to play. But, still, good to see him out there.

* * *

The Wildcats will be wearing their all-red combination for its home finale for the second consecutive season. It didn’t work out so well last season, as the Cats fell 41-34 to Arizona State and its fourth-quarter rally.

* * *

Arizona has picked up good news today, getting its first commitment for the 2015 recruiting class. Finton Connolly, a defensive tackle from Gilbert Campo Verde has pledged to the Cats on a visit to Tucson.

* * *

Oregon has won five in a row in the series vs. Arizona, averaging 50.4 points and 490 yards against the Cats in that span.

“It would be great if we could beat Oregon at least once while I’m here,” said Arizona fifth-year senior linebacker Jake Fischer.

Fischer played as a true freshman in the famous (infamous?) 2009 game against Oregon, when the Ducks scored in the final seconds to tie the game after fans rushed the field at Arizona Stadium. Oregon won 44-41 in double overtime.

Oregon has won the next three meetings by 19, 25 and 49 points.

Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez has been trying to stoke his team’s competitive fire.

“This is a top 5 team, and a team that has national respect,” Rodriguez said of Oregon.

“I think every player wants to have respect. They want to feel like, ‘Hey, I belong. I can play with anybody in the country.’ If they don’t think that way, then they have the wrong mindset. And this is the kind of game they prove it.”

Oregon connection

Freshman linebacker Derrick Turituri is one of the three players from Oregon on the Arizona roster. The others are his older brother Tyler, a sophomore walk-on safety, and redshirting freshman safety RJ Morgan.

All are from Crater High School in Central Point, Ore., near the California border.

“I was an Oregon fan. Oregon and USC growing up,” Derrick Turituri said. “Going to Arizona would have never crossed my mind when I was younger.”

The Ducks did show some recruiting interest — and Oregon State offered a scholarship — but Turituri committed to the Wildcats in June before his senior season.

“This is the game I have been looking most forward to, playing against the team I always watched growing up,” he said.

Turituri (6-1, 252) has 10 tackles, including 2.5 sacks, usually playing as a pass-rushing end in the team’s third-down SWAT team defense. He has seen increasing playing time in recent weeks against the pass-happy schemes of Cal and Washington State.

“It’s really cool being able to play more and more as go farther into the season,” Turituri said.

His development will be intriguing to watch, as he could transition into being a hybrid big middle linebacker/third-down pass rusher next season.

The return (and returns) of De’Anthony Thomas

The Oregon speedster had been quiet through most of the conference season because of an ankle injury, but he caught a touchdown pass last week and broke the game open with an 86-yard kick return for a touchdown in the third quarter.

“Fastest guy I’ve seen in two cleats,” Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost said after the game.

Said Rodriguez this week: “He looks like himself from what I saw in the last game. I remember recruiting him out of high school a little bit. One of the most explosive players in the country. He’s still De’Anthony.”


On the most basic of levels, the Cats, to have a chance, are going to have to play out of their minds, while hoping the Ducks are uncharacteristically loose with the ball. Oregon is tied for eighth in the country with a turnover margin of plus-1.1 per game.

“We can’t play poorly and win, that’s for sure,” Rodriguez said.

“Do we have to be perfect, no? But we have to have some things go right, and they have to help us a little bit. Which could happen.”

Arizona has a history of playing well as an underdog at home in November, which won’t mean a thing if the Ducks get rolling early. There can be no repeat of what happened to the Wildcats last season, as they went 0-for-3 in red-zone opportunities in the first quarter (Kyle Dugandzic bobbled the snap on a field-goal try; Matt Scott was intercepted; Scott lost a yard on fourth-and-goal from the 2).

Sooner or later, the Ducks take control.

Oregon 50, Arizona 24.


Arizona-Oregon: Four things to watch

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

Final home game? Enjoy Ka’Deem Carey while you can

Trung Canidate ready to hand off Arizona career rushing record to Ka’Deem Carey

Salem Statesman Journal: Ducks ready for challenge at Arizona

Eugene Register-Guard: Ducks hope Pac-12 title hopes aren’t soaked

Greg Hansen’s Mr. Football column at the Arizona Daily Star

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