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Ka’Deem Carey rushing his way to top of Pac-12

In the early stages of the 2012 season, UA’s star running back Ka’Deem Carey was a mere blip on the radar in the Pac-12 conference.

After all, UCLA’s senior Jonathan Franklin ran for 541 yards over the first three weeks — tops among all running backs in the nation.

And if that wasn’t enough, Kenjon Barner all but erased the memory of LaMichael James up in Eugene this year. The Ducks senior halfback has rushed his way into the Heisman Trophy conversation with 1,360 yards rushing (fifth-best in the nation) and 19 touchdowns (second-best in the nation).

As a sophomore, Carey was fine taking a back seat to two of the conference’s elder running backs.

Until Saturday against Colorado.

Carey rushed for a Pac-12 record 366 yards and five touchdowns (tied for a conference record) in the Wildcats 56-31 rout of Colorado. And what looked to be a two-man race for the first-team honors at season’s end, has now turned into quite the battle heading into the final weeks of the season.

Here’s what’s Ted Miller had to say on the matter:

Picking two first-team All-Pac-12 running backs won’t be easy: Arizona running back Ka’Deem Carey rushed for 366 yards — a new Pac-12 single-game record — and five touchdowns in Arizona’s 56-31 win over Colorado. He will take over the Pac-12 rushing lead, as Oregon’s Kenjon Barner (65 yards) and UCLA’s Johnathan Franklin (66 yards) had subpar games. The final two weeks likely will decided the two guys who end up first-team All-Pac-12.

Carey’s career day not only led UA to a much-needed victory, it helped him pass Barner as the conference’s leading rusher. He now has 1,381 yards for the season and has rushed for at least 100 yards in a game seven times in 2012.

The sophomore’s remaining games are against Utah and ASU. As a freshman, Carey didn’t have great success running on the Utes or Sun Devils, as he finished with a combined 122 rushing yards and no touchdowns.