TUCSON, Ariz. -- Jon Embree has been speechless few times in his brief tenure as head coach at Colorado.
But when he emerged from the visiting locker room Saturday after watching his team get run over by Arizona running back Ka'Deem Carey in a 56-31 loss and he was asked what happened to his defense, Embree had nothing.
"I wish I could give you an answer," he said.
The Buffs managed to make a game of it for one half once again but quickly lost control in the third quarter, suffering their sixth consecutive blowout loss. CU is now 1-9 overall and 1-5 in the Pac-12 Conference with two home games remaining against Washington and Utah in the next 12 days.
The season can't end soon enough with each week somehow producing a new level of embarrassment that attracts national attention.
On Saturday, Carey's record-breaking performance was the story.
The Colorado defense had a simple game plan just about any average fan on the street could have put together. With Arizona senior quarterback Matt Scott out with a concussion, the Buffs had to stop the run and force Scott's replacement, junior B.J. Denker, to beat them through the air.
Stop the run. Simple as that.
The floodgates opened instead.
Carey ran 25 times for 366 yards and five touchdowns setting an opponent record for rushing yards in a game as the Wildcats became the latest Colorado opponent to humiliate the Buffs. Carey also set a new Pac-12 Conference single-game rushing record and tied the record for rushing touchdowns in a game.
"We knew prior to that the whole issue was going to be Ka'Deem Carey," defensive coordinator Greg Brown said. "There was no secrets. That was a big deal for us all week in our preparations. We had a certain goal to get Ka'Deem Carey contained and obviously it did not happen."
It is the sixth consecutive time a CU opponent has scored more than 40 points on the Buffs this season and the seventh overall. The Buffs looked so bad it was fair to question whether Brown and other assistants on the defensive side of the ball would keep their jobs beyond the flight home, let alone the end of the season.
Embree said he has no plans to make any changes before the final snap is played in 2012 against Utah the day after Thanksgiving.
Big numbers were expected with two of the nation's worst defenses in the same game, but the way the Wildcats tore apart the Buffs was shockingly easy.
"I couldn't tell you that," linebacker Derrick Webb said when asked why CU continues to struggle so bad against zone-read offenses. "Every game plan we get we try our best to execute it. Coach Brown does a great job finding ways for us to combat the zone-read offense. It's just a tough deal. You can't do it nine times out of 10 times cause that last time, they'll hit you hard."
The Buffs were so helpless to stop the Wildcats on the ground, particularly in the second half, Denker had no pressure on him in his first career start. Arizona threw only four passes in the second half.
"I had the best seat in the house for that," Denker said of watching Carey's performance. "I had a great time handing the ball to Ka'Deem and watching him work."
The Buffs' inability to stop Carey and the Wildcats spoiled an improved performance from the CU offense, which totaled 437 yards of offense and 31 points a week after being shut out at home and gaining less than 100 total yards against Stanford.
Embree chose Nick Hirschman to start over Connor Wood, but both quarterbacks played in the game. Freshmen running back Christian Powell produced his third 100-yard rushing performance of the year with 32 carries for 137 yards and two scores. Backfield mate Donta Abron ran 13 times for 83 yards and his first career touchdown.
Wood connected on his first collegiate touchdown pass with tight end Scott Fernandez. It just happened to be the first career catch for Fernandez
The Buffs moved the ball effectively at times, producing the two most time-consuming drives of the season, but Carey and the dreadful CU defense was the story of the day.
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Arizona 56, Colorado 31
Colorado 10 7 0 14--31
Arizona 7 21 21 7--56
Col -- Powell 7 run (Oliver kick), 11:59.
Ari -- Carey 10 run (Bonano kick), 9:01.
Col -- FG Oliver 18, :36.
Ari -- Carey 13 run (Bonano kick), 13:31.
Ari -- Carey 30 run (Bonano kick), 10:30.
Col -- Powell 1 run (Oliver kick), 2:44.
Ari -- Buckner 21 pass from Denker (Bonano kick), 1:11.
Ari -- Buckner 9 pass from Denker (Bonano kick), 13:04.
Ari -- Carey 8 run (Bonano kick), 6:47.
Ari -- Denker 10 run (Bonano kick), 1:30.
Col -- Abron 10 run (Oliver kick), 13:15.
Col -- Fernandez 71 pass from C.Wood (Oliver kick), 10:22.
Ari -- Carey 3 run (Bonano kick), 8:01.
A -- 51,236.
First downs 24 21
Rushes-yards 56-224 38-438
Passing 213 136
Comp-Att-Int 16-20-1 12-14-0
Return Yards 20 19
Punts-Avg. 3-40.7 2-41.0
Fumbles-Lost 3-0 1-1
Penalties-Yards 11-89 4-40
Time of Possession 41:48 18:12
PASSING -- Colorado, Hirschman 12-13-1-123, C.Wood 4-7-0-90. Arizona, Denker 12-14-0-136.
RECEIVING -- Colorado, Spruce 4-36, Abron 3-11, McCulloch 2-41, Ebner 2-19, Slavin 2-17, Fernandez 1-71, Hobbs 1-14, Thornton 1-4. Arizona, Richards 3-39, Buckner 3-38, Hill 3-29, Carey 2-34, J.Jackson 1-(minus 4).