Oregon entered Saturday's game against Arizona as the fifth-ranked team in the country, with an outside shot at the national title thanks to the chaos falling around them. Either way, the Ducks controlled their own destiny in the Pac-12 race, against an Arizona team that was 6-4 and had lost two consecutive games, including one to Washington State. Sounds simple, right?
Not so much. The Wildcats rode an incredible performance from Ka'Deem Carey en route to a 42-16 blowout victory over the Ducks.
David Piper of Addicted to Quack says the game signifies the end of an era for Oregon -- that of the "upset-proof" Ducks.
Oregon hasn't lost many games over the past five years. Three losses to Stanford, one each to Ohio St., Boise St., Auburn, USC, and LSU. Now a loss to Arizona. Which of these is not like the others? Oregon had lost games, but they had never lost a game to a team that was clearly inferior from a talent standpoint. They had been "upset-proof." That was what made this program what it was. They may lose to elite teams. But if you weren't elite, it was game over before it even started. There was an aura of invincibility to Oregon football. A team could start off great, but there was an eventuality as to the final result. You might hang in there for a half. But the outcome wasn't in doubt. The tidal wave was coming, and you were going to get swept up in it.
Kevin Zimmerman of Arizona Desert Swarm said the Wildcats' quick second half score made the difference in the game.
Arizona led 28-9 after forcing a turnover with a minute to play before halftime. The Wildcats went 59 yards in 42 seconds to make an easily potential second-half differential for the Ducks look a little more daunting. It never looked as if the Ducks were ready to make a run, and the second half went no better than the first for Oregon, which wasn't in position often and looked slower and less-motivated than they have all season long.
Arizona was helped greatly by Marcus Mariota's first two interceptions of the season, and the Wildcats took advantage. Carey ran 48 times for 206 yards and four touchdowns, breaking school records as he continues his incredible season. B.J. Denker had perhaps the best game of his young career, completing 19 of 22 passes for 178 yards and two scores while running 14 times for 102 yards.