In Arizona’s 35-24 in over visiting Utah tonight, junior running back Ka’Deem Carey blistered the pace he needs in the regular season to catch Trung Canidate for the Wildcats’ career rushing mark.
He gained a season-high 236 yards on a school-record 40 carries against a decent Utah rush defense that ranked No. 3 in the Pac-12 (allowing 133.7 yards rushing per game). Ontiwaun Carter had the previous UA record of 36 carries against Colorado State in 1994.
Carey also scored a rushing touchdown, a 44-yard jaunt late in the fourth quarter, to inch closer to Art Luppino’s school record 44 touchdowns set in 1953-56. Carey has 35 career rushing touchdowns in only 29 games.
Entering tonight’s game, Carey needed to average 128.7 yards per game and 1.4 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 eclipsed the 3,000 mark and is at 3,159 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.
Carey has 805 rushing yards in 134 attempts (6 yards per carry) in five games after missing the season-opener against NAU and the opening quarter against UNLV for disciplinary reasons. A remarkable stat about Carey: He has lost only five yards rushing the ball in his 134 carries. Against Washington and USC, he was not tackled behind the line. He was tackled behind the line once against Utah.
Here’s a breakdown of where Carey stands now with six regular-season games remaining:
Career rushing yards: Canidate gained a school-record 3,824 yards from 1996-99. Carey now has 3,159. He needs 665 yards to reach Canidate. That means he must average 110.8 yards per game to reach Canidate. Carey is four yards away from reaching Mike Bell for No. 4 on the all-time UA rushing chart.
He leap-frogged Nic Grigsby (2,957 yards) and Hubie Oliver (3,096) with his performance against Utah.
Career rushing touchdowns: Luppino “The Cactus Comet” scored a school-record 44 rushing touchdowns from 1953-56. Carey now has 35. He needs nine to reach Luppino. That means he must average 1.5 touchdowns in the next six games.
These averages are only considering Arizona’s regular-season schedule. The Wildcats, who play 12 regular-season games, need at least two more victories to become bowl eligible. They are 4-2 overall and 1-2 in the Pac-12.
ARIZONA TOP 10 CAREER RUSHERS[table “” not found /]