For the first time this season, Ka’Deem Carey is expected to be full-go tonight.
The junior running back was suspended for the opener and didn’t enter last week’s game against UNLV until late in the first quarter.
But tonight Carey should play early and often. And a formation that coach Rich Rodriguez has taken a liking to is Carey and senior running back Daniel Jenkins in the game at the same time.
Carey and Jenkins were only in at the same time on a handful of plays last week at UNLV, but Carey has already given the two a nickname.
“We call it thunder and lightning,” Carey said. “He’s the lightning, and I’m the thunder. I come with the boom, and he comes with the speed. We’re going to be a good combination this year. When we have me and him in the backfield, they can’t really key. If they key on him, I’m there. If they key on me, he’s there.”
With or without Jenkins next to him, Carey is ready to build on his first performance of 2013, which saw him rush for 171 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries.
Last Saturday’s game marked the first time since the New Mexico Bowl that Carey was tackled. Arizona coaches kept Carey off-limits from defenders during spring drills and fall camp.
“I was barely getting touched out there,” Carey said of the UNLV game. “I came out really healthy. I was really surprised, and I feel like it’s going to be a good year because of that. I kinda got nervous out there. It was the first time I got hit in a while.”
Carey also said he expects defenses to come after him this year after he led the nation in rushing as a sophomore.
“They’re going to look for me, especially these smaller teams,” Carey said. “Not that they’re bad or anything. They’re just looking for something like that where they can take off the head nacho.”
By the way, Carey’s last five games have been ridiculously good. During that span, he has 1,087 yards, 12 touchdowns and is averaging 217.5 yards per contest.