The Arizona Wildcats were without the nation’s leading rusher tonight in its season opener, but it sure didn’t seem to matter.
The UA rushed for more than 300 yards and cruised to a 35-0 win over Northern Arizona with star running back Ka’Deem Carey suspended for the opener after a couple of offseason run-ins.
Senior Daniel Jenkins rushed for 139 yards on 12 carries and quarterbacks B.J. Denker and Javelle Allen each added rushing touchdowns in the win.
In the end, the UA rushed for 304 yards on 33 carries.
Denker started and played the majority of the game before giving way to Allen. Denker threw for 87 yards on 9 for 13 passing and added 71 yards on the ground on 13 carries. He also threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jenkins in the first quarter.
Allen came in late in the fourth quarter and on his second carry, he took off for a 61-yard score up the middle to make it 35-0.
Trailing by just 14 points at halftime, NAU managed to hang around in the first half.
Safety Tra’Mayne Bondurant quickly changed that in the third quarter. The junior intercepted NAU’s Kyren Poe on the first play of the half and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown to put the UA up 21-0. Bondurant came up with his second interception of the game later in the quarter.
Quarterback B.J. Denker made the score 28-0 after Bondurant’s first pick when he took off for a 30-yard scamper and reached the end zone to put the UA up 28-0.
That remained the score through three quarters.
In the first half, Jenkins scored two touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving.
Jenkins dashed down the sideline for a 91-yard touchdown in the second quarter to make it 14-0.
The 91-yard run was the third-longest rush in school history.
Jenkins finished the half with 129 yards on nine carries.
Denker was 7 for 9 for 80 yards and the touchdown to Jenkins in the first half. He also had 33 rushing yards on nine carries.
The Wildcats scored on their first possession of the game; a 10-play, 75-yard drive to take an early 7-0 lead. Denker started at quarterback and was 2 for 2 on the opening drive for 42 yards.
Jenkins, a senior, started in place of Carey.
He rushed for 10 yards on three carries on the first drive in Carey’s absence.
The Lumberjacks put together an 11-play, 57-yard drive on their first possession of the game, but kicker Andy Wilder missed a 42-yard field goal to give the ball back to the UA.
A steady rain began falling midway through the quarter and the Wildcats turned the ball over on their second possession.
The UA plays next on Saturday, Sept. 7 at UNLV. Kick is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.