SCOTT

Arizona football notebook: Stay tuned for decision on Scott's return

2012-11-13T00:00:00Z 2014-08-07T17:51:31Z Arizona football notebook: Stay tuned for decision on Scott's returnRyan Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
November 13, 2012 12:00 am  • 

It started with a strategy question, one that's particularly topical given Arizona's injury issues heading into Saturday's game at Utah.

Do coaches, Rich Rodriguez was asked, typically play coy on injuries during the week for gamesmanship reasons?

"Maybe some coaches don't want to disclose any information because of that, but I'd like to think the main reason you don't is because coaches aren't in a position to be a doctor," he said. "That's up to the trainers and the doctor to determine who can go and how well they can go."

The long answer was Rodriguez's way of saying a decision on Matt Scott won't be coming any time soon. The UA's starting quarterback missed last weekend's game against Colorado as he recovered from a concussion; though the odds of him playing this week are better than they were a week ago, the UA won't be offering any official update until Thursday.

Until then, and probably until Saturday, it's wait-and-see.

"Y'all will get the injury report, just as always," Rodriguez said.

In the meantime, Utah will prepare for two quarterbacks. Backup B.J. Denker was stellar in last weekend's 56-31 win over Colorado, completing 12 of 14 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns and rushing nine times for 44 yards and a score. Denker was universally praised for the way he steered the offense with Scott out. Rodriguez said that Denker's decision making was "pretty much spot-on, with a handful - well, four or five - plays that he'd like to have back."

"I thought he was really composed," Rodriguez added. "I think a couple of the speed-options and a couple of the runs were big for us."

Still, Scott's return would go a long way toward helping Arizona's chances against the Utes. The Wildcats (6-4 overall, 3-4 Pac-12) have won just one road game since Nov. 1, 2010. And Utah (4-6, 2-5) will be playing with hopes of getting bowl-eligible.

"One of the most physical, biggest teams we'll play all year - and in a tough environment," Rodriguez said. "We'll be tested both physically and mentally Saturday night."

Carey lauded

Ka'Deem Carey's record-setting performance has led to a little love.

The Wildcats' sophomore running back was named the Pac-12's offensive player of the week Monday, two days after rushing for a program-and-conference-record 366 yards and UA-best five touchdowns against Colorado.

His 400 all-purpose yards - Carey also caught two passes for 34 yards - were also the most in program history.

In 10 games, Carey - a Canyon del Oro High School graduate - leads the UA with 1,381 yards and 18 touchdowns. He averages more rushing yards per game (138.1) than 40 Div. I FCS teams, including Pac-12 foes Washington, Utah, Oregon State, Colorado and Washington State.

There's a reason why Carey has played so well, his teammates said.

"He's probably the most enthusiastic player in the locker room before the game - and after the game as well," guard Trace Biskin said. "It's fun playing with him. He's going to have a great career."

Carey's performance was the talk of college football over the weekend. ESPN's Mark May awarded him one of his two "helmet stickers," and the College Football Performance Awards and Arizona's coaches gave Carey their weekly award.

His performance was the best in the Pac-12 since Washington State's Ruben Mayes gained 357 yards against Oregon 1984, and the most ever by any Rodriguez-coached player. West Virginia running back Kay-Jay Harris went for 337 yards and four scores in 2004.

Robinson in

Lost in Carey's performance was the play of tight end/fullback Drew Robinson, who provided a handful of key blocks on the tailback's historic afternoon. Making his first start for the injured Taimi Tutogi, Robinson - a senior - played "his best since he's been here," Rodriguez said.

He was Lou Gehrig-good.

"Taimi will get teased all week about the Wally Pipp stories," the coach said. "Of course, they don't know who Wally Pipp is: Is he the guy that replaced the guy, or is he the guy that got replaced?"

For the record, Gehrig took over for Pipp and played 2,130 straight games for the Yankees, but Rodriguez chuckled when asked if Scott is receiving the same grief after Denker's day.

"I don't think that's going to happen," Rodriguez said. "Being as competitive as Matt is, I think he wants to get out there."

Extra points

• Austin Hill has been named one of 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation's top wide receiver. Hill leads UA with 62 catches for 1,023 yards, which rank third in the Pac-12 and No. 11 nationally; he's also ranked No. 10 nationally in total yardage. He has 40 catches resulting in first downs, 22 catches for 15 yards or more and 12 catches for 25 yards or more.

• Sean Willet is listed as the team's new punt returner, in part because Richard Morrison - the team's usual starter - continues to take snaps at quarterback. Shaquille Richardson is first on the depth chart at one cornerback position, ahead of Derrick Rainey.

• Arizona's players are well-aware of the UA's bowl options, Rodriguez said. The postseason was a main topic of conversation at Sunday's practice.

"I told them, 'If you win one, you know you're going to be in one. If you win another, maybe you're in another one, a high-profile one,'" he said. "That's the ladder I mentioned to the team, and I think our guys see that. Hopefully, you can continue to raise that profile if you do win."

On StarNet: Follow the Wildcats as on Ryan FInley's blog at azstarnet.com/finley

Up next

• Who: Arizona (6-4, 3-4) at Utah (4-6, 2-5)

• When: 8 p.m. Saturday

• TV: ESPNU

• Radio: 1290-AM, 107.5-FM

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Pac-12 South football standings

  Conference Overall
Team W L T PCT W L T PCT
Arizona 7 2 0 0.778 10 3 0 0.769
USC 6 3 0 0.667 8 4 0 0.667
UCLA 6 3 0 0.667 9 3 0 0.750
Arizona State 6 3 0 0.667 9 3 0 0.750
Utah 5 4 0 0.556 8 4 0 0.667
Colorado 0 9 0 0.000 2 10 0 0.167

Pac-12 North football standings

  Conference Overall
Team W L T PCT W L T PCT
Oregon 8 1 0 0.889 12 1 0 0.923
Stanford 5 4 0 0.556 7 5 0 0.583
Washington 4 5 0 0.444 8 5 0 0.615
Cal 3 6 0 0.333 5 7 0 0.417
Washington State 2 7 0 0.222 3 9 0 0.250
Oregon State 2 7 0 0.222 5 7 0 0.417
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