New Mexico Bowl Pick – December 15th
The New Mexico Bowl will play itself out in Albuquerque on Saturday afternoon in the first bowl betting battle of the year, as the Nevada Wolf Pack take on the Arizona Wildcats.
Nevada has struggled historically in bowl games due to the fact that teams have generally had a long time to try to figure out its Pistol offense. This is the first bowl game of the year though, and that means that there are only two weeks for the Wildcats to try to figure out how to stop this offense. It’s definitely an exciting ground based attack that features a pair of remarkable rushers. RB Stefphon Jefferson has a chance to lead the nation in rushing this year. He is used and abused, and he averages carrying the ball a whopping 28.4 times per game. Still, he is good for 1,701 yards and 22 TDs on the season. QB Cody Fajardo needs just 19 yards on the ground to reach 1,000 for the season, and he also has 2,530 yards and 17 TDs as a passer. The Wolf Pack have struggled down the stretch, losing four of their last five games, and in all of those games, they allowed at least 24 points.
Meanwhile, Arizona is clearly the better of these two teams, and it hopes to get the Pac-12 off to a good start in this bowl season. The Wildcats showed some real potential, knocking off teams like the USC Trojans and Oklahoma State Cowboys, but there were also some brutal losses in there as well, such as a 66-10 decision against the UCLA Bruins and a 49-0 loss at the Oregon Ducks. RB Ka’Deem Carey has 31 TDs this year to go with 1,757 yards on the ground, while QB Matt Scott threw for 3,238 yards. It was a fun offense for sure in the first year for Head Coach Rich Rodriguez, who helped the team to 521.8 total yards and 37.2 points per outing. Carey has to be thrilled to be running against a Nevada defense that allowed over 200 yards per game, but this Arizona defense has to be careful as well, knowing that it allowed 485.7 yards and 34.2 points per game on the campaign.
The Wildcats might be the better team, but this is a heck of a lot of points to be giving really anyone this time of year. Nevada is good enough to win this game outright, and though we don’t think that it will do that, it should stick in front of this hefty number. Arizona 41 – Nevada 37