Arizona Wildcats football: Report card for Washington game

2013-09-29T00:06:00Z 2013-09-29T00:12:54Z Arizona Wildcats football: Report card for Washington gameDaniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
September 29, 2013 12:06 am  • 

SEATTLE—The UA’s report card for its 31-13 road loss at Washington.

Offense

Quarterbacks:

D-: There are a couple of things that keep starter B.J. Denker from getting an F here. First: the weather conditions. Washington starter Keith Price, a proven commodity at the position, struggled in the wet and windy weather as well. It wasn’t an easy day to be a quarterback. UA coach Rich Rodriguez thought a lot of Denker’s issues were related to the weather. Denker also rushed for 56 yards and a score. Now, there were some decisions he made that had nothing to do with the conditions and some throws he’d certainly like to have back. Denker wasn’t good by any stretch—he’d be the first to admit it—but he doesn’t get an F.

Running backs:

A-: Ka’Deem Carey had more than 100 yards for the 11th time in his last 12 games and was a tough man to bring down Saturday. He finished with 132 yards on 30 carries and kept Arizona in the game. He also had 49 yards receiving on four catches. His 4.4 yards per rush was actually better than Washington’s Bishop Sankey, who finished with 161 yards on 40 carries—an average of four yards per carry.

Wide receivers:

D: There wasn’t a whole lot to like here. Freshman Nate Phillips had a nice grab on a 16-yard gain and that might have been the only bright spot for the UA’s receivers. Rodriguez said he wanted upperclassmen Terrence Miller and Garic Wharton to step up this week and the duo combined for two catches for 16 yards. David Richards returned, but didn’t record a catch. Overall, this group just didn’t do a lot to help out Denker.

Offensive line:

C-: For the fourth time in as many games, Rodriguez wasn’t thrilled with this group. He thought Carey could have had even more yards on the ground if the line was better. Denker was also sacked twice in the first quarter and under a lot of pressure early when he was trying to get his feet settled. Fabbians Ebbele—battling an ankle injury—didn’t start at right tackle and only played a little in the first half. It was clear Arizona was dealing with the biggest and strongest defensive front it had seen this season.

Defense

Front six:

C-: True freshman Scooby Wright continues to impress. He had nine tackles, including one for a loss. Marquis Flowers was also active with six tackles, but missed a couple of opportunities. Nose tackle Tevin Hood had six tackles, one of which went for a loss. This group actually did a pretty nice job on Sankey, but didn’t record a sack of Price and only had two tackles for loss in the game. Middle linebacker Jake Fischer suffered a leg injury in the fourth quarter and didn’t return. There was no update on his status postgame.

Back five:

C: Safety Jared Tevis led the team with 13 tackles and forced a fumble. Cornerback Shaq Richardson had a big interception in the first quarter when Washington was driving already up 6-0 and threatening to blow the game open right away. The secondary did a nice job of making Price look very average in tough conditions. But in the second half when Washington needed big plays on third downs, Price was able to complete some long passes on the group. Safety Tra’Mayne Bondurant, after a strong start to the season, had just four tackles and wasn’t a huge factor.

Special teams:

D-: Jake Smith missed one extra point and converted on another. The miss on Arizona’s first touchdown was his first PAT miss of the season. He kicked off four times and didn’t record a touchback with his average sitting at 54.5 yards per kick. Punter Drew Riggleman averaged just 31.5 yards per punt with a long of 44. Of his six punts, only one landed inside the 20. The UA’s return game also wasn’t much of a factor. Nate Phillips had a 26-yard return on a kickoff and that was about the lone highlight.

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About this blog

Daniel Berk began covering UA football in 2013 after spending two-plus years as the Star's high school sports coordinator. Previously, he served as the sports editor and NAU beat writer for the Arizona Daily Sun in Flagstaff for three years.

A University of Kansas graduate and St. Louis native, Berk is still getting used to 350 days of sunshine, the relentless "dry heat" of the summer and the fact that Tucson doesn't have a real hockey rink.

Contact Daniel at dberk@azstarnet.com or by calling 573-4330. Follow him on Twitter @DSBerk.

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