running back Ka'Deem Carey ran for 169 yards and two TDs in the victory. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Two of the country's top rushers faced off in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl in Shreveport, La. on Tuesday, and most expected Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey and Boston College's Andre Williams to dictate the outcome of the game. That narrative proved accurate as Carey won the battle of the 'backs, rushing for 165 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries (5.9 yards per carry) to help the Wildcats dominate the Eagles 42-19. It was Carey's 16th straight 100-yard game.
Williams, the Doak Walker Award winner and a Heisman Trophy finalist -- who led the country with 2,102 rushing yards during the regular season -- endured his second pedestrian outing in a row. The senior rushed 26 times for 75 yards (2.9 per carry) while the Arizona defense kept him out of the end zone until late in the fourth quarter.
The game was hardly out of reach for Williams and Boston College until 30 seconds before halftime. That's when Arizona quarterback B.J. Denker hit Trey Griffey -- the son of former MLB star Ken Griffey, Jr. -- on a 26-yard touchdown pass. The score pushed the Wildcats lead to 21-6 despite the fact that the Eagles' offense had held the ball for more than 22 of the game's opening 30 minutes, while their defense had forced Arizona into two turnovers. Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig, meanwhile, threw two picks of his own in the first half.
Williams finally found the end zone with 12 minutes to play in the final quarter, but by then the Wildcats had reeled off five straight touchdowns to take a commanding 42-12 lead. The Eagles averaged only 4.79 yards per play on offense, while Arizona averaged 7.16.
Two seasons into the Rich Rodriguez era in Tuscon, the Wildcats have won their second consecutive bowl game. On the recruiting trail, Arizona must not only contend with a tough in-state foe in Arizona State, but also with a Pac-12 conference that's as deep as any league in the country. In spite of this, the Wildcats upset No. 5 Oregon 42-16 on Nov. 23. Rodriguez might have been in over his head at Michigan, but he seems to have Arizona trending in the right direction. The next question is what Carey will decide to do with his future. The junior told ESPN after the game that he hasn't decided whether he will leave school early for the NFL. His return would be a extra boost for the Wildcats in 2014.
In spite of the lopsided loss, the same positive momentum should be felt by Boston College, which was playing in its first bowl game since 2010. Coach Steve Addazio seems to have given the Eagles the spark they had been missing. That spark could be seen on several occasions this year, including in a win over Virginia
Tech on Nov. 2 ,and in an Oct. 19 loss to Clemson
, a game Boston College led in the fourth quarter. The Eagles won four of their last six games for seven total wins, a marked improvement from their two-win season in 2012. For Boston College fans, there's a lot to look forward to.