photo by David Pyles
Coming into Saturday’s game, the Oregon Ducks had five straight wins against Arizona, including two on the road. Yesterday, Ka’Deem Carey and the Wildcats made sure that streak didn’t continue, as Arizona raced past No. 5 Oregon to pull off the upset, 42-16.
In Arizona’s biggest win in two decades, the Wildcats ended the Ducks’ national championship hopes and the right to play for a Pac-12 title.
The shock began right from the start, as Shaquille Richardson made a remarkable play on a tipped pass, throwing the ball back into the field of play, which allowed Scooby Wright to walk the tight rope along the sideline to the first interception against Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota this season.
Arizona quickly capitalized on the mistake with a 6-yard touchdown run by Carey, and that was pretty much the story of the day.
The Wildcat’s took advantage of numerous miscues by Oregon, behind a dominating performance on the offensive line and the legs of junior running back Carey, who was an absolute workhorse, rushing for 206 yards and four touchdowns on a school-record 48 carries.
Zona quatterback B.J. Denker was impeccable against the nation’s No. 5 team, going 19-22 through the air and two scores, while adding 102 yards on the ground.
The Ducks gave the Wildcats plenty of help as well, with three turnovers and twice more on downs, but undisciplined play also hindered them on both sides of the ball. Every time the defense made a stop or the offense made a big play, it seemed to be followed with a costly yellow flag or a dropped pass.
Mariota threw for 308 yards and two scores, but added an uncharacteristic two interceptions to the stat line. De’ Anthony Thomas (16 carries-83 yards) and Thomas Tyner (11 carries-53 yards) took most of the load in the backfield, after Byron Marshall went down with an ankle injury.
Oregon didn’t have a terrible game; they were just unable to get into rhythm and made a few too many mistakes.
They will need to fine-tune some things before next week’s game against the Oregon State Beavers, as the 117th Civil War game takes place in Autzen Stadium.
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