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Hello all, Cole Ryan here, your host for the great pregame shows on the weekend to include the award-wining NFL Game Day Live! (Okay not award winning yet, but someday soon!
Every week we are going to post a thread to cover all of the bowl games for that week leading up to the BCS Championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama.
The bowl season starts this week with two bowl games this weekend.
New Mexico Bowl
Nevada (7-5, Road: 5-1) 1:00pm
Arizona (7-5, Home: 6-2) ET
Idaho Potato Bowl
Toledo (9-3, Road: 4-2) 4:30pm
(22) Utah St. (10-2, Home: 6-0) ET
Starting tonight and leading up to kickoff I will be posting great information on all of the games leading up to kick off so we can find the right side for each big bowl game and bang the book!
Feel free to chime in with information, y9our take on the game and anything else that will be useful to the college football fan betting on a bowl game.
It’s going to be a great week, good luck and let’s go bowling!
When Nevada has the ball: Nevada runs the ball effectively with the nation’s second-leading rusher Stefphon Jefferson and dual-threat QB Cody Fajardo. The Wolf Pack is seventh in the nation in rushing offense (260.0 ypg) and scores 37.0 points per game. Their leading receiver is Senior Brandon Wimberly, but they also utilize tight end Zach Sudfeld extensively. Nevada has scored 21 points or more in each contest this season including an incredible 69 point game in Hawaii powered by six Jefferson touchdowns.
Arizona’s defense has struggled to stop the run this year, but look for Marquis Flowers to play a key role in slowing down the rushing attack. He’s the team’s leader with 5.5 sacks and 12 tackles for loss and ranks second with 90 tackles. He’s played especially well recently accounting for four forced turnovers in his last six games. He dominates against USC and earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors.
When Arizona has the ball: The Wildcat offense looks a lot like the Wolpack’s but they have the only rusher in the country with more yards per game than Jefferson in Ka’Deem Carey. Carey led the FBS with 1,757 yards rushing and 20 rushing touchdowns. Expect him to get plenty of touches as the Wildcats offense looks to get their average 37.3 points per game. Carey had his own signature game when he ran for 366 yards and five scores against the Colorado Buffaloes on November 10.
He’s not the only weapon Arizona has as QB Matt Scott has also had a solid Senior year throwing for over 3,000 yards with 24 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions. Scott primary targets is Sophomore Austin Hill who went over 1,000 yards receiving already this season with nine touchdowns. Late in the season Garic Wharton, a Nevada native, has also come on finishing with his best game of the year-6 catches, 89 yards, and a touchdown. Look for him to be a factor as the Wildcats take on his home-state college.
The Nevada defense ranked 95th in the nation in scoring defense allowing 32.5 points per game despite playing only one ranked team (Boise State). They rank even lower against the run allowing 213.7 rushing yards per game which ranks them 112th in the country. They’ll struggle to stop Arizona and especially Carey.
New Mexico Bowl Game Themes: College football's bowl season - the most wonderful time of the year - kicks off with a matchup of two western programs that haven't met on the gridiron in 71 years ... Is a shootout in store in the Southwest? It would appear so with a pair of high-scoring offenses facing a pair of defenses that have struggled to consistently slow down opponents ... A well-hyped showdown between the nation's leading rusher (Arizona's All-American Ka'Deem Carey, 146.4 ypg) and the second-leading rusher (Nevada's Stefphon Jefferson, 141.9 ypg) ... Quarterbacks Matt Scott (Arizona, 3,723 total offense yards) duels with Cody Fajardo (Nevada, 3,511 total offense yards) in a battle of dual-threat signal-callers ... Arizona appears in a bowl game for the fourth time in the last five seasons, while Nevada makes its eighth-consecutive postseason trip ... A contrast in coaching tenures, with Arizona's Rich Rodriguez in his first season at the school squaring off against Chris Ault who has served three stints as the Nevada head coach over 28 combined years ... Arizona, despite missing a bowl game last year, can finish its season with a victory for the second straight year after bowl losses in 2009 and 2010 ... A last chance for seniors on both sides of the ball to cap their careers on high notes ... A preview of an upcoming home-and-home series between the schools in the 2014 (Tucson) and 2015 (Reno) seasons.
Arizona sophomore running back Ka'Deem Carey has been named an Associated Press First-Team All-American, it was announced by the news bureau on Tuesday. With his three awards from the four NCAA-recognized lists that have been announced (The Sporting News, Walter Camp and AP), Carey is a consensus All-American for the 2012 season.
The Tucson native is Arizona's 11th player named a consensus All-American. Those 11 players have earned 14 consensus All-America honors. Carey is the first Wildcat at an offensive position to earn the nod. In 1999, Dennis Northcutt was named a consensus All-American as a receiver and a kick returner. Carey is Arizona's first honoree since Antoine Cason in 2007.
Carey leads the nation in rushing yards per game (146.42) and ranks No. 2 nationally in total rushing yardage (1,757). He is No. 5 nationally in total all-purpose yards (2,061) and ranks seventh nationally in all-purpose yards per game (171.8). He leads the nation in total yards from scrimmage (2,045) and ranks second nationally in yards from scrimmage per game (170.4).
Carey's 54 plays of 10+ yards and his 20 plays of 20+ yards lead the nation. His 21 total touchdowns (20 rushing and one receiving) rank No. 8 nationally. His 20 rushing touchdowns are seventh nationally.
Arizona and Nevada are two of just three teams in the country that average at least 230 rushing yards and 240 passing yards.
This is the third highest total of the 35 bowl games so a shootout is certainly a possibility. Overall Arizona is seventh in total offense and 17th in scoring offense while Nevada is 11th in total offense and 20th in scoring offense. Can the defenses stop the opponents? Considering the Wildcats are 116th in total defense and 100th in scoring defense and the Wolfpack are 86th and 94th respectively, it doesn't look that way.
Arizona is 3-11 ATS in its last 14 games against teams averaging 31 or more ppg.
If you are someone who makes their bowl game selections based on signature wins, then Arizona is the choice in this game. The Wildcats defeated the Oklahoma State Cowboys and USC Trojans, and narrowly missed knocking off the Oregon State Beavers, Arizona Wildcats and Stanford Cardinal.
The Wolfpack did not face the same caliber of teams, coming out of the MWC this season. In fact, they did not defeat one game who is going to a bowl game this season. The only bowl teams that Nevada faced in 2012 were the Air Force Falcons, Fresno State Bulldogs and Boise State Broncos. The Wolfpack lost all three games, with the first two games resulting in blowouts.