B.J. Denker: ‘Rich Rodriguez’s Offense Is So Much Fun To Play In’
Rich Rodriguez’s spread attack, with all of its reads and fakes, is difficult to run. But it’s also really fun, especially as a quarterback.
“Oh, completely,” Arizona quarterback B.J. Denker said on The Damon Amendolara Show. “It’s definitely a challenge. At this position, in this program, in this offense, the quarterback has to make a decision 100 percent of the time. There’s always a read or multiple reads or three or four reads on a significant play, and sometimes in a different offense – pro-style or what have you – they don’t have to do that. So it’s obviously challenging. The mental aspect of playing for this offense is challenging.
“(But) once you get it done, once you get a grasp of it, the sky’s the limit. It’s so much fun. You have so much fun out there making plays and scoring points and going fast.”
Scoring hasn’t been an issue for the Wildcats, who average 32.8 points per game, and Denker is a big reason why. He has combined for more than 3,000 yards (2,200+ through the air, 800+ on the ground) and 26 touchdowns (14 pass, 12 rush) on the season.
Denker, who averages more than five yards per carry, excels at getting to the perimeter, where he exploits defenses.
“I’m not a big run-through guy (who tries) to dip my shoulder,” he said. “I try to use my athletic ability and my speed to get on the perimeter and get as many yards as I can. I don’t believe in sliding. I don’t really like to slide. If I have to, I will. I’m a competitor, so I’ll either try and get out of bounds or dive and get as many yards as we can for a first down or touchdown or anything. Put your body on the line for your team. Sometimes you got to do it.”
When Denker isn’t lunging ahead for yards, he’s usually handing off to backfield mate Ka’Deem Carey, who has rushed for 1,716 yards and 17 touchdowns, including four in a 42-16 win over then-No. 4 Oregon on Nov. 23. Carey rushed a whopping 48 times for 206 yards that day.
“He makes my job a lot easier,” Denker said. “When everyone focuses on (him), it opens up things for me.”
That means wide-open running lanes and, if he wants to throw, single coverage on the outside.
“It’s pretty special to watch,” Denker said.
Arizona (7-5) is now preparing for its bowl game against Boston College (7-5), which also has a special running back in Andre Williams. In fact, both teams rank in the top 20 nationally in rushing yards per game.
“This is a nice bowl game,” Denker said. “We’re happy to be in it, (and) we’re excited to play on national television and (build) the foundation for the future of this program.”
Kickoff is slated for 12:30 p.m. EST on Dec. 31.