Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Sports

Arizona pulls off shocker of Oregon

TUCSON, Ariz. — The goal posts flat on the field, Arizona's fans lingered on the field, congregating around the locker room entrance nearly 30 minutes after rushing out of the stands.

This was a big one for Arizona.

For No. 5 Oregon, it was a crushing blow — to its national title hopes and Rose Bowl hopes.

Ka'Deem Carey ran for 206 yards and four touchdowns as the Wildcats pulled off a 42-16 upset Saturday.

"This was a great opportunity for our guys," Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said. "And they took it."

Few saw it coming.

Arizona was coming off consecutive home losses, including to Washington State. Oregon had raced through most of its schedule, a loss to Stanford putting a dent in its national title hopes but a Rose Bowl bid still on the table if it won out.

The Wildcats turned the tables on the fast-paced Ducks, eschewing the normal slow-it-down routine most teams play against them by keeping their foot on the throttle.

With Carey bursting through the line and B.J. Denker dinking and dashing with a variety of fakes, the Wildcats jumped out to a 14-0 lead and kept going for their first win over a top-5 team since 2007 and No. 2 Oregon.

Oregon gave the Wildcats plenty of help with three turnovers and turning it over twice more on downs.

Carey was the workhorse for Arizona as he has been all season, carrying a school-record 48 times while scoring on runs of 6, 1, 9 and 2 yards.

Denker threw for 178 yards and two touchdowns, ran for 102 more and Arizona had 304 yards rushing, a season high against Oregon.

"It's a great feeling," said Denker, who was 19-of-22 passing. "This is a crazy win for our program, for our coaching staff, for our players, for our seniors. Everything went great."

Not for Oregon.

Oregon sputtered for most of the day, showing only flashes of the brilliance that had it No. 2 in total offense and third in scoring entering the game.

Marcus Mariota threw for 308 yards and two touchdowns but also had two interceptions, his first since Nov. 17, 2012. Oregon outgained Arizona 506-482 but couldn't overcome the miscues to lose consecutive road games for the first time since 2007.

Last week, running back De'Anthony Thomas said it was no big deal for the Ducks to go to the Rose Bowl. After Saturday, that's out of reach, too. The loss combined with Stanford's win over Cal put the Cardinal in the Pac-12 title game.

"It hurts," Mariota said. "I haven't been blown out like this in my life."

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