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New Mexico Bowl Preview
by Matt Fargo - 12/05/2012
Saturday, December 15th
New Mexico Bowl - University Stadium - Albuquerque, NM 1:00 PM ET
Nevada Wolfpack vs. Arizona Wildcats (-9.5/75)
How Nevada got here
The Wolfpack earned a bowl berth very early thanks to a 6-1 start but things took a turn for the worse following a loss against San Diego St. in overtime which triggered a disappointing 1-4 finish. Nevada closed the regular season hoping for some momentum with a win over Boise St. but it was not meant to be as it lost 27-21 in what could be the final meeting between the two rivals. This is definitely not the bowl game the Wolfpack were hoping for but playing against a BCS Conference team should have it motivated along with the fact the 16 seniors want to go out winners.
How Arizona got here
Arizona did not exactly end the regular season very strong as it lost to rival Arizona St. at home. The Wildcats won the yardage battle 522-460 but four turnovers did them in. One positive that can be taken out of the season is that after starting 0-3 in the Pac 12, Arizona went on to finish 4-2 so there was no giving up. Still, the Wildcats are not thrilled about being here as they were hoping for a Sun Bowl or a Las Vegas Bowl bid. Making things tougher is that there is a quick turnaround with it being the first bowl game and it happens to come right at the end of finals week.
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 may be getting a little too much respect here as the line is up to -10 in a lot of places.
Arizona is 3-11 ATS in its last 14 games against teams averaging 31 or more ppg.
Nevada is 0-7 ATS when the total is greater than or equal to 63 this season.