Which Arizona Wildcats Skill Position Starters Make the Grade?

Tom GreenhalghContributor IIIDecember 20, 2012

Which Arizona Wildcats Skill Position Starters Make the Grade?

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    Arizona (8-5, 4-5 Pac-12) put up gaudy offensive numbers in 2012. 

    The 'Cats averaged nearly 300 yards per game through the air (298.4) and well over 200 on the ground (227.8). They capitalized to the tune of 38.2 points per game, a mark that falls comfortably inside the nation's top 20.

    RichRod's skill position starters entering the year were Matt Scott (QB), Ka'Deem Carey (RB), Dan Buckner (WR), Austin Hill (WR) and Richard Morrison (WR).

    Read on to find out how they performed individually.

Matt Scott

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    By the Numbers: 301-499 passing (60.3%), 27-14 TD/INT, 3,620 yards passing, 133.5 QB Rating

    Signature Moment: While Scott was outstanding in orchestrating upsets of then-highly ranked Oklahoma State and USC (5-1 TD/INT combined), he saved his best for last. 

    With the Wildcats trailing Nevada by 13 points inside of two minutes, Scott threw touchdown passes to Austin Hill and Terrence Miller to propel Arizona to an improbable comeback win.

    Forgettable Moment: Scott's concussion shortened performance against UCLA is worth serious consideration, but most UA fans would tell you Scott's forgettable moment came against ASU.

    With the Cats leading 27-20 and driving, Scott turned the ball over for the fourth time, setting up a game-tying drive by the Devils. Arizona never recovered.

    Grade: It's hard to imagine Arizona gaining bowl eligibility without their star quarterback. Despite missteps against Oregon, UCLA and ASU, he gets the benefit of the doubt for his six 300-plus yard passing games and willing his team to a number of quality wins. A-

Ka'Deem Carey

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    By the Numbers: 1,929 yards rushing, 6.4 yard per carry, 23 rushing touchdowns

    Signature Moment: Carey ran for a school-record 366 yards against Colorado. More impressive, he did so with CU's defense focused chiefly on him. (Matt Scott sat out in favor of B.J. Denker.)

    Forgettable Moment: It's difficult to find a true low point in Carey's historic season, but his 54-yard performance against UCLA will suffice.

    Grade: For annihilating UA's single-season rushing record, Carey gets an A+.

Dan Buckner

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    By the Numbers: 61 receptions, 773 yards receiving, 5 touchdowns

    Signature Moment: Though in a losing effort, Buckner played his best game against Oregon State. The senior recorded six catches for 119 yards and a score.

    Forgettable Moment: Buckner went out with a whimper in his final Territorial Cup, recording just one catch for 11 yards.

    Grade: Buckner disappeared towards the end of the year. He did not record more than three catches or 38 yards in any of his final five games as a Wildcat. C+

Austin Hill

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    By the Numbers: 81 receptions, 1,364 yards receiving, 11 touchdowns

    Signature Moment: In Arizona's thrilling upset of USC, Hill recorded 10 catches for 259 yards. His connection with Matt Scott was instrumental in keeping Arizona's offense on the field and moving.

    Forgettable Moment: The week when B.J. Denker subbed for Matt Scott. That week against Colorado, Hill caught just three passes for 29 yards.

    Grade: Hill is an explosive playmaker. He recorded 100-plus yards five times and scored in more games than not. A

Richard Morrison

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    By the Numbers: 23 receptions, 171 yards, 2 touchdowns

    Signature Moment: Morrison caught six balls for 58 yards and a score in Arizona's upset win over Oklahoma State in week two.

    Forgettable Moment: After a solid first few weeks, Morrison was phased out of the Wildcats' passing attack entirely. He was only involved as a special teams player from game seven on.

    Grade: Morrison did play a role in special teams, but was largely forgotten on offense following his effort against Oklahoma State. He entered the year as Arizona's No. 3 passing option, but didn't end as such. D