In Arizona’s 38-13 win over visiting UTSA last night, Arizona junior running back Ka’Deem Carey fell just below the pace he needs in the regular season to catch Trung Canidate for the Wildcats’ career rushing mark.
He continued his phenomenal touchdown-producing rate, however, with two more scores, inching closer to Art Luppino’s school record 44 touchdowns set in 1953-56. Carey has 33 career rushing touchdowns in only 26 games.
Entering last night’s game, Carey needed to average 129.9 yards per game and 1.3 touchdowns to reach Canidate and Luppino in the regular season (if Arizona reaches a bowl, the averages would be slightly reduced). Canidate stands at 3,824 rushing yards from 1996-99.
Carey is at 2,653 in basically his second full season. He had only 91 carries for 425 yards as a freshman in 2011. His nation’s-best 1,929 rushing yards last season put him in the position to break Canidate’s record without having to play his senior season if he opts for early entry into the NFL draft.
“All of our guys run hard, but I think Ka’Deem may be the hungriest runner in the country,” Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said in the post-game press conference. “He has a gift of fighting until you take him to the ground.”
Carey has 299 rushing yards in 43 attempts (7 yards per carry) in two games after missing the season-opener against NAU and the opening quarter against UNLV for disciplinary reasons. That means he has averaged a remarkable 42.7 rushing yards each quarter he’s been cleared to play.
“I’m starting to get it rolling; I’m getting the cobwebs off of me,” Carey said
Here’s a breakdown of where Carey stands now with nine regular-season games remaining:
Career rushing yards: Canidate gained a school-record 3,824 yards from 1996-99. Carey now has 2,653. He needs 1,171 yards to reach Canidate. That means he must average 130.1 yards per game to reach Canidate.
Career rushing touchdowns: Luppino “The Cactus Comet” scored a school-record 44 rushing touchdowns from 1953-56. Carey now has 33. He needs 11 to reach Luppino. That means he must average 1.2 touchdowns in the next nine games.
These averages are only considering Arizona’s regular-season schedule. The Wildcats, who play 12 regular-season games, need at least three more victories to become bowl eligible.
WILDABOUTAZCATS.net publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes blogs for Lindy’s College Sports, TucsonCitizen.com and Sports Illustrated-sponsored site ZonaZealots.com.