Arizona Football: Why Ka'Deem Carey Is the Wildcats' MVP for 2013

Brian PedersenFeatured ColumnistNovember 18, 2013

Nov 9, 2013; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats running back KaDeem Carey (25) runs the ball against the UCLA Bruins during the first quarter against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Football is among the truest of team sports, and college football is no different. With 11 players on the field at a time, the game is all about teamwork and coming together to meet a common goal.

Yet, some players are more important to a team's success than others, and there's no denying who that person is this season for the Arizona Wildcats: Ka'Deem Carey.

Carey, a junior running back, is the constant that has been there all year for the Wildcats. Whether it be a runaway victory, a troubling loss or a nail-biter in either direction, Carey has contributed in a manner that's become so expected and dependable you look down at the stats just knowing he'll have run for at least 100 yards.

November 10, 2012; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats running back Ka'Deem Carey (25) runs for a first down away from Colorado Buffaloes linebacker Derrick Webb (1) during the second half at Arizona Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

In fact, Carey has done so in all nine games he's played in 2013, and his streak of 100-yard rushing games extends back to the last four games of 2012. The triple-digit run began in epic fashion, with Carey setting school and Pac-12 Conference single-game records with 366 yards against Colorado.

While Carey led the FBS in rushing in 2012 with 1,929 yards, that was as a complement to a passing game led by Matt Scott that was among the best in the nation. The Wildcats didn't need big yards all the time from Carey, it was just a nice bonus.

The same cannot be said this season, where Arizona's passing attack started the year off abysmally and remains an inconsistent faction of the offense. The Wildcats are averaging 188.8 passing yards per game, which ranks 97th out of 126 FBS teams, compared to a run attack that's 13th overall at 263.7 yards per game.

Carey is responsible for nearly 60 percent of that rushing production, averaging 150.3 yards per game, which is second in the nation.

Arizona has made no secret of its intent to use Carey as much as needed to win, as head coach Rich Rodriguez told the Arizona Daily Star's Daniel Berk recently.

"We’re going to do whatever it takes to win games, and a lot of times our best chance to win games is to hand No. 25 the ball."

Carey is averaging 26.9 carries per game this season, a workload that has led to a tender ankle that he's had to play through the last few weeks as he continues to carry Arizona's offense en route to a very likely school career rushing record. He's at 3,707 yards, which is 117 short of passing Trung Canidate.

Without Carey, Arizona could be 3-7 this season instead of 6-4 and heading to a bowl game for the second straight season. The same statement couldn't be said about any other individual on the Wildcats roster, which is all the evidence needed in the case for Carey being Arizona's MVP this year.


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