Each unit of each team gets its own airtime as the Boston College Eagles and Arizona Wildcats ready themselves for the 2013 AdvoCare V100 Bowl.
In much the same way as the Boston College offense is made special by the talents of a running back, Arizona’s offense has had one featured player with a great season. For the Eagles, it was Andre Williams, but for the Wildcats, it has been Ka’Deem Carey, also an All-American. In fact, this game may be the first time in the modern era that two All-American running backs have faced one another in the same season after having been named.
Carey’s year speaks for itself as he has powered the Arizona offense:
• 1,716 yards this season in 11 games
• 2013 consensus All-American (also 2012)
• 2013 Doak Walker Award finalist
• 2013 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year
• 15-straight 100+ yard games dating back to 2012 (Pac-12 record)
• Arizona all-time rushing leader
Despite how the Heisman voting unfolded, Carey may well have been the second-best running back in the nation behind Williams, and it is quite interesting (but not at all a coincidence) that the two will meet in a bowl game. Are they similar in how they play, however? Not really. Andre is the Eagles’ battering ram as part of a power-run offense, while Carey has been more of a shifty, explosive back who has run with more strength and determination than ever before.
Just like Boston College’s offensive line has deserved credit for helping Williams to a record-breaking season, Arizona’s has done much the same. Right guard Chris Putton is the senior leader on the offensive line, which has started mostly upperclassmen this season. With a run game as productive as Arizona’s has been behind Carey, it is certain that the Wildcats have been getting at least relatively good line play and Boston College’s defensive line and linebackers will have their hands full in keeping Carey contained.
Speaking of, Arizona’s quarterback, senior BJ Denker, will present challenges as the Eagles attempt to keep contain. Like his Boston College counterpart in Chase Rettig, Denker has not been the offensive star of the show this year, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been productive. He is completing just over 60 percent of his passes and has thrown for 2,241 yards and 14 touchdowns, with only seven picks. The X-factor with Denker is that he, like Carey, can and will run the football. In fact, he has 898 rushing yards on the season himself.
When Denker does throw the ball, he has had a bunch of youthful options. On the most recent depth chart issued by Arizona, a majority of their wide receivers were underclassmen. One of them, freshman Nate Phillips, has led the Wildcats in receiving yards this season with 503 and seven touchdowns. Senior wide receiver/tight end Terrence Miller is second with 465 yards this year, having caught his only touchdown against Oregon.
In many ways, this offense should remind Boston College fans of their own, but Arizona and the Eagles accomplish the same things in different ways. Carey, Denker, and the rest will surely test this defense.