SHREVEPORT, La.– Ka’Deem Carey took a decisive victory in a showdown between two of the nation’s top running backs. Arizona’s domination of Boston College was even more impressive.
Carey rushed for 169 yards and two touchdowns, B.J. Denker threw for 275 yards and two scores and the Wildcats had an easy time in a 42-19 victory over the Eagles in the Advocare V100 Bowl on Tuesday.
Arizona redshirt freshman Trey Griffey — the son of former Mariners superstar Ken Griffey Jr. — caught the first two touchdown passes of his college career. His father watched from the sideline.
Griffey caught a 26-yard TD pass with 30 seconds left in the first half to give the Wildcats (8-5) a 21-6 lead. He had a 3-yard touchdown reception early in the fourth quarter and finished with three catches for 41 yards.
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Carey, a 5-foot-10, 207-pound junior, surpassed 100 yards rushing for a 16th straight game.
Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez had plenty of praise for Carey before sneaking in a plug to campaign for a senior season.
“He’s the hardest runner in the country and I think he’s the best running back in the country,” Rodriguez said before breaking into a smile. “And he’s still got some things to learn. So another year and he’d be just right.”
The game was billed as a matchup between two of the nation’s top backs — Carey and Boston College’s Andre Williams. But the duel between AP All-America first-team selections wasn’t close.
Williams, who won the Doak Walker Award over Carey, was held to 75 yards rushing on 26 carries and a touchdown. Boston College (7-6) didn’t score a TD until Williams’ 4-yard run with 12 minutes remaining.
“The biggest key for us defensively was tackling (Williams) before he had the chance to get going,” Rodriguez said. “We wanted to tackle him early and be physical.”
Carey had plenty of help. Arizona piled up 529 total yards and scored 35 straight points to turn a tight 7-6 game in the second quarter into a 42-6 blowout by early in the fourth.
Denker completed 17 of 24 passes while freshman Nate Phillips caught nine passes for 193 yards.
Rodriguez said the offense — and particularly Denker — played at a high level for most of the day
“I know when a quarterback gets it like B.J,” Rodriguez said. “He’s seeing everything — good and bad. He was really sharp mentally and, obviously, he showed his athletic ability on some of those runs.”
Boston College’s turnaround season came to a disappointing conclusion. First-year coach Steve Addazio took a team that finished with a 2-10 record in 2012 back to the postseason.
“I thought Arizona did an unbelievably great job of taking advantage of opportunities to gain momentum,” Addazio said. “And then they really put the pedal down.”
Williams, who came into the game with 2,102 rushing yards, looked ordinary against Arizona’s active defensive line.