By Rob Moseley
As a native of Phoenix, UO running back Kani Benoit has been acutely aware of Ka’Deem Carey’s talents for years.
Carey, the Arizona junior, led the nation in rushing last season and is second this fall, entering Saturday’s 12:30 p.m. PT visit from No. 5 Oregon. Carey is a Tucson native who ran for 2,738 yards and 45 touchdowns as a high school junior, and 1,754 yards with 26 touchdowns as a senior.
“He was big,” Benoit said. “He was a physical beast; there was no one that could stop him. He’s carried that over to U of A and taken it from there. I’m happy he’s doing good.”
This week, Benoit had the task of filling in as Carey with Oregon’s scout-team offense. The UO true freshman has been with the scout team all season while redshirting, playing the likes of Bishop Sankey and Tyler Gaffney, and this week Benoit tried to replicate the skills of Carey.
"He runs hard all the time,” Benoit said. “He runs hard and when he sees a hole he hits it 100 miles an hour. That’s kind of how I run too, so it was easy to mold into that and play off that. I definitely think I gave the defense a good look this week.”
Over the course of this season, Benoit said he’s played faster and faster. Part of that owes to his increased knowledge, helping him process what he sees quicker. But he feels physically faster, as well.
“We practice at such a high speed, I think it’s increased my speed,” Benoit said. “I’ve watched film and a lot of my moves are a lot quicker. I’m not disappointed that I redshirted, because it’s improved my game.”
Scout-team scrimmage highlights: I’d mention that Danny Mattingly blew up a pass play with a blitz up the middle, but you’re probably tired of hearing his name in this space day after day. No? More Mattingly? … Couple nice moments for the quarterbacks. Damion Hobbs reached the end zone twice on keepers, and Taylor Alie rolled to his left then threw back across the field into the end zone. … Juwaan Williams has been primarily a cornerback, but he took some safety reps this morning. Typical broadening of a young player’s skill set, I presume.