TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — In January, Daniel Jenkins announced he was transferring from Arizona to Washington State. He left school, but not for long.
"He was on his spring sabbatical," Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez quipped. "He was taking his tour of the Northwest part of the country."
A few months later, Jenkins was back, and on a rainy Friday night, the speedy senior made the most of Ka'Deem Carey's absence in the Wildcats' 35-0 season-opening victory over Northern Arizona.
Jenkins ran 91 yards for a touchdown, the third-longest rushing play in Arizona school history, and also caught a scoring pass in the opener of Rodriguez's second season in Arizona.
"He had a great summer, he's in great shape," Rodriguez said. "He's been probably the one most explosive player we've had in camp, so it was good to see him get that long run. He deserved this kind of nice performance."
B.J. Denker threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jenkins and ran 30 yards for another score. Moments after Denker left the game in the fourth quarter, backup Javelle Allen ran 61 yards for a TD.
Tra'Mayne Bondurant had two interceptions, returning one 21 yards for a touchdown.
Carey, Arizona's All-American running back and the nation's leading rusher last season, was suspended for the game "per team policy," the school said. The punishment apparently stemmed from trouble the running back had during the offseason, including an arrest for an incident involving his girlfriend. The charges were later dropped. Carey also was kicked out of a basketball game in a run-in with arena management and local police.
"He's done everything we've asked him to do the last four or five months," Rodriguez said. "But we have team policies and team rules and that stays in the house. But one of the ways to make it most effective is to have playing time taken away, and I'm sure Ka'Deem was hurting because he's a great competitor. So he should be playing in the next game."
Jenkins gained 139 yards in 12 attempts. Denker completed 9 of 13 passes for 87 yards and rushed for 71 yards in 13 carries.
Rodriguez had not announced a starting quarterback to replace the departed Matt Scott, but most assumed it would be Denker, and it was.
After the opening kickoff, the senior directed an 11-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. Denker completed both passes on the drive for 42 yards, including the TD toss to the wide-open Jenkins. Denker also rushed five times for 23 yards on the drive. He said he was never told he was the starter
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