Positives and Negatives: UA vs. CU

Tra'Mayne Bondurant

Arizona was able to defeat Colorado on Saturday. There were aspects of the game Arizona did well and others that need improvement. Read on for a closer look at both.

Arizona rebounded from an embarrassing road loss by handily defeating Colorado 56-31 on Saturday. While the victory was expected, it was also important as it made UA bowl eligible with two games remaining. UA's offense was unstoppable for the majority of the game, running all over the Buffaloes' defensive unit from the start.

The Wildcats created plenty of momentum going into the next game, but there are still a few wrinkles that need to be ironed out over the final two weeks of the regular season.

Positives

Ka'Deem Carey: Arizona's sophomore running back set school and Pac-12 records for rushing yards in a single game with 366. His five rushing touchdowns also tie an Arizona school record as Carey was the star of the show Saturday afternoon.

Carey's total surpassed the previous conference record of 357 yards, set by former Washington State running back Rueben Mayes back in 1984. It also surpassed Trung Canidate's school record of 288, set back in 1998 against Arizona State.

Arizona's offensive line: The Wildcats' protection was outstanding and the run-blocking was one of the reasons Carey had a historical day.

B.J. Denker: No one expected Denker to replicate what Matt Scott has been able to do this season, but the junior quarterback managed the game perfectly and avoided making mistakes for the majority of the contest. Denker threw for 136 yards and two touchdowns, ran for 46 yards and another touchdown, and avoided throwing any interceptions.

Dan Buckner: The big senior receiver caught a pair of touchdown passes to bring his season total to five. Buckner's large-frame appeared to give Denker a level of comfort as he caught the only touchdown passes of the afternoon.

Red zone execution: Inside the opponent's 20-yard line is an area where the UA offense has struggled at times in 2012. Saturday, however, was a completely different story as the Wildcats were a perfect 7-for-7 in red zone opportunities as all seven conversions came by way of touchdown.

Focus and Fundamentals: Arizona's only turnover came on the first offensive play of the contest and the four penalties tied a season low. The Wildcats were making a habit of coming up with miscues frequently over the past two weeks, but avoided such shortcomings against the Buffaloes.

Improvement Needed

Rushing defense: Colorado compiled 224 yards on the ground and averaged four yards per carry. Christian Powell ran for 137 yards and a pair of touchdowns while Donta Abron rushed for 83 yards and a score on 13 carries. A common theme in 2012, UA once again, struggled to stop the run.

Pressure: The Wildcats struggled getting into the opposing backfield against a team that – coming into Saturday – was tied with Washington State for most sacks allowed in the country. Arizona picked up a pair of sacks, but rarely hurried the quarterback and didn't do much to disrupt the CU running game.

Consistency through all four quarters: If you combine the first and fourth quarters, Colorado actually outscored UA 24-14. Arizona struggled to start the game and had trouble keeping the Buffaloes' offense off the field in the fourth quarter. Fortunately for UA, it dominated the second and third quarters, outscoring CU 42-7 in that time frame.

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