Arizona was able to defeat Utah on Saturday night. Read on for a complete breakdown of how the Wildcats were able to get it done.
After falling behind in the second half and seemingly losing their confidence with each moment that passed, the Arizona
Wildcats found a way to battle back and pick up their first road victory. UA ultimately defeated Utah
34-24 despite a very rough passing day for quarterback Matt Scott
Luckily for the Wildcats, running back Ka'Deem Carey came to play and surpassed the 200-yard mark on the ground once again. Carey seems like a man on a mission and he continues to put the team on his back. There have been plenty contributors on the offensive side of the ball, but Carey's play has opened the field for the rest of the offense and Saturday was just the latest example of that.
Carey finished the night with 204 yards on the ground and a touchdown. There was an emphasis on getting Carey touches and he seemed to compile big plays each time he was given the opportunity. carey concluded the game with an average of 7.8 yards per rush and his impressive performance put him in the lead nationally for rushing yards.
It wasn't just Carey who did damage on the ground for Arizona. Quarterback Matt Scott rushed for 74 yards and a touchdown, while backup Daniel Jenkins carried the ball seven times for 42 yards and a score as well. As a team, UA finished the game with 320 yards rushing.
Scott's rushing made up for his rough night throwing the ball. Scott completed just 12 out of 27 pass attempts for 160 yards and one touchdown pass. Utah's defense made it tough for the Arizona signal-caller to find open receivers and he was forced to throw the ball away several times throughout the contest. His footwork was able to make up for his passing shortcomings, however, and the Wildcats' offense was still able to move the ball consistently.
Wideout Austin Hill continues to impress with each passing week. The sophomore finished with six catches for 96 yards and a touchdown, and was the only receiver who could consistently find ways to get open for Arizona. Aside from Hill's outing, UA's receivers' mostly struggled.
The Wildcats' defense still gave up an ample amount of yards to Utah (449 total), but the unit performed better during stretches of Saturday night's affair. Utes' running back John White ran for 112 yards, which is a pretty low number considering how successful other running backs in the Pac-12 have been against Arizona's suspect run defense. Utah averaged only 3.8 yards per carry as a team on Saturday night.
Cornerback Shaquille Richardson had one of his better games in recent memory. There were lapses where Utah went at him and were successful in doing so, but Richardson stepped up in key moments throughout the contest. The junior collected nine tackles, broke up a pair of passes and forced a fumble in the winning effort.
The defense has been questioned throughout this season for a myriad of reasons, but it would be unfair to not point out one of the biggest factors in UA's victory over Utah on Saturday night. The Utes went for it on fourth down five separate times, but they were only successful on one of those attempts. In the 10-point affair, forcing the opposition to turn the ball over on downs four times made all the difference.