Arizona running back Ka'Deem Carey (25) breaks a tackle by Utah defensive back Brian Blechen (4) in the first quarter during an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Rick Bowmer

SALT LAKE CITY — Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey leads the nation in rushing after putting up 204 yards in Saturday’s 34-24 win over Utah.

Carey has rushed for 1,585 yards this season, 21 more than Nevada’s Stefphon Jefferson and 81 yards more than Northern Illinois’ Jordan Lynch. Carey also has 19 touchdowns, third-most among the nation’s leading rushers. 

“That’s awesome, to say we have the leading rusher right here in our backyard, right here in our backfield,” UA center Kyle Quinn said late Saturday. “We’re going to take great pride in that.”

Carey said he “had a feeling, after this game” that he was leading the nation in rushing. The Wildcats (7-4 overall, 4-4 Pac-12) increased their bowl standing with the win over Utah, Arizona’s first on the road in a year.

Arizona will take on rival Arizona State next week for the Territorial Cup. Carey said he’s “so happy” that his team can look forward to the rivalry game after contests against Colorado and Utah.

“It’s going to be a big game,” he said. “They’re going to be ready, we’re going to be ready, and I think we’re looking forward to it as a team.”

The game is personal for Carey, who chose the UA over Arizona State just before signing day in 2011.

“It’s the greatest choice I’ve ever chose,” he said with a smile. “It’s going to make it that much more intense.”

The sports editor of the Arizona Daily Star.