New Mexico Bowl 2012: Arizona vs. Nevada Preview

New Mexico Bowl: Arizona vs. Nevada Preview

12/15/12 in NCAAF   |   Tyler_Waddell   |   426 respect

Gildan New Mexico BowlBlog Photo - New Mexico Bowl 2012: Arizona vs. Nevada Preview
Arizona (7-5) vs. Nevada (7-5)
December 15, 1 p.m. ET (ESPN)

What to expect with the Wildcats: There are two sides to this Arizona team, and it’s a Dr. Joekel and Mr. Hyde-like feel. This is a team that started off 3-0 and earned a No. 22 ranking in the AP Polls, lost three straight, beat USC and lost to UCLA 66-10 the following week.

It’s been an up-and-down season for the Wildcats, but one thing is for sure – they’re going to score a bunch of points on this Nevada defense. QB Matt Scott and All-American running back Ka’Deem Carey – who averaged a NCAA-best 146.4 yards per game this year – should be able to find a lot of space against a defense that ranked 96th overall in scoring (32.5).

Scott will be the main key for the Arizona offense. Carey will carry a huge load, but the Cats are going to have to let it fly in order to put up enough points to win.

What to expect with the Wolf Pack: Like Arizona, Nevada is self-reliant on its offense – but mainly the running game. Running back Stefphon Jefferson has had an outstanding year, racking up 1,703 yards and 22 touchdowns. He ranks second nationally behind Carey with 141.9 yards per game.

However, the Wolf Pack will need to be firing from all cylinders, including quarterback Cody Fajaro with the Pistol offense. His dual-threat abilities will cause problems for a Wildcat front seven that ranked second-last in the Pac-12 against the run (189.8 yards per game).

Prediction: Don’t blink, because you might miss a score. This game is promised a lot of points and the team will the ball last might the one that comes out on top. All the focus is on the dynamic ground attacks that each side has – which is fine – but it’s going to come down to which quarterback can make the most plays through the air. I’m giving Scott and Arizona the slight edge, simply because he has a better arm and can make plays with his back against a wall.

Arizona 42, Nevada 31 --- via Bowl Predictions
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