Helfrich: Denker Getting Better and Better

EUGENE - Often lost in the Ka'Deem Carey fanfare, is the play of Arizona quarterback B.J. Denker. As a first year starter, Denker has shown the ability to run the ball effectively, manage games and keep the Wildcats within three scores in all of their contests.

EUGENE - Often lost in the Ka'Deem Carey fanfare, is the play of Arizona quarterback B.J. Denker. As a first year starter, Denker has shown the ability to run the ball effectively, manage games and keep the Wildcats within three scores in all of their contests.

Despite being ranked near the bottom of every passing category, Denker has shown the ability to overcome the woes with his legs, creating a dangerous one-two running punch.

"I'm not sure of B.J.'s background, but he's just getting better and better," said Oregon coach Mark Helfrich. "He looks a ton more comfortable in the system than what we saw against other defenses early on in the season."

Denker's thin frame and running ability have drawn comparisons to last year's Wildcat quarterback Mat Scott, but Denker has already ran for 200 yards more than Scott did a year ago.

"He runs the ball better," said linebacker Boseko Lokombo when comparing Denker to Scott. "He extends play a little bit more. He can make plays on his feet and pass the ball too."

Denker leads an offense that Helfrich admits is probably the most similar to his team than any Oregon has faced this season.

"They're a run first type of operation, which I'm sure we would be considered that. From that as a basis, then probably yes."

Preparing and Comparing Ka'Deem

Helfrich was asked to compare Arizona star RB Carey to another running back. After a few seconds of thought, Helfrich gave this answer:

"I don't know. Probably somebody big and fast."

Lokombo was just a as befuddled in his effort to find another back with similar attributes to the 5-10 207 pound Carey.

"I don't think we've seen a running back like him so far," he said. "

Asked if Carey would be the best back they've seen to date, Lokombo said "I would say so."

The Ducks have employed three different scout team players to fill the Carey role in this week's practices.

Stopping The Ground Game

Arizona has been second to Oregon in rushing each of the past two years, yet the Ducks have held the Wildcats to less than 100 yards rushing in their last two outings.

Included in that is a 89 yard, shutout loss a year ago, in which the Wildcats reached the red zone six times, just to be turned away with nothing each time.

"Coming off a shutout, you always want to redeem yourself," Helfrich said. "I think there is some familiarity, but also a ton of frustration on their part, a ton of red zone trips last year with missed opportunities. They'll be fired up and dialed in."


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