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New Mexico Bowl: Arizona vs. Nevada TV Info, Predictions and More

Tom GreenhalghContributor IIIDecember 2, 2012

New Mexico Bowl: Arizona vs. Nevada TV Info, Predictions and More

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    Rich Rodriguez and the Arizona Wildcats will conclude their 2012 redemption tour in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    The Wildcats (7-5, 4-5 Pac-12) have been selected to play in the New Mexico Bowl opposite the Nevada Wolf Pack (7-5, 4-4 MWC).

    Read on to find everything you need to know about this intriguing matchup.

Game-Day Info

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    Who: Arizona vs. Nevada

    Where: University Stadium (39,224), Albuquerque NM

    When: December 15th, 11:00am MST

    TV: ESPN

    Radio: ESPN Radio

    Line: Arizona -7.5

Key Storylines

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    Rushing Title:

    Arizona running back Ka'Deem Carey places second in the nation in rushing yards with 1,757. Nevada running back Stefphon Jefferson places fourth with 1,703.

    However, the rushing title is awarded to the player with the most yards per game. In terms of yards per contest, Carey leads the nation (146.4) and Jefferson places second (141.9).

    Both are within striking distance of winning the rushing title with a big showing.

    Redemption:

    Rich Rodriguez lead the undermanned Wildcats to a 7-5 record in his first year in Tucson. After a disastrous era in Michigan, Rodriguez found himself in the broadcast booth. When Mike Stoops was fired from Arizona, AD Greg Byrne hired the oft-criticized coach to head the Wildcats program. Rodriguez has an opportunity to match Stoops' highest win total of eight with a win against Nevada.

Arizona Depth Chart and Injury Report

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    Offense:

    WR - 4 - Dan Buckner, SR (6'4", 214)

    SLOT - 8 - Richard Morrison, JR (5'11", 183)

    T - 68 - Mickey Baucus, SO (6'8", 290)

    G - 62 - Chris Putton, JR (6'4", 282)

    C - 76 - Kyle Quinn, SR (6'3", 294)

    G - 72 - Trace Biskin, SR (6'5", 282)

    T - 73 - Fabbians Ebbele, SO (6'8", 310)

    QB - 10 - Matt Scott, SR (6'3", 197)

    RB - 25 - Ka'Deem Carey, SO (5'10", 203)

    FB - 31 - Taimi Tutogi, SR (6'1", 260)

    WR - 29 - Austin Hill, SO (6'3", 211)

     

    Defense:

    E - 43 - Justin Washington, JR (6'2", 268)

    T - 90 - Dan Pettinato, SO (6'4", 267)

    T - 91 - Sione Tuihalamaka, JR (6'2", 275)

    LB - 2 - Marquis Flowers, JR (6'3", 221)

    LB - 19 - Hank Hobson, SO (6'2", 224)

    LB - 33 - Jake Fischer, JR (5'11", 215)

    CB - 17 - Derrick Rainey, JR (6'1", 183)

    CB - 6 - Jonathan McKnight, SO (5'11", 175)

    S - 21 - Tra'Mayne Bondurant, SO (5'10", 208)

    S - 38 - Jared Tevis, SO (5'10", 198)

    S - 26 Jourdon Grandon, SO (6'0", 186)

     

    Specialists:

    PK - 15 - John Bonano, SR (6'0", 216)

    P - 13 - Kyle Dugandzic, SR (6'0", 195)

    PR - 6 - Jonathan McKnight, SO (5'11", 175)

     

    Injury Report:

    Out: Dominique Austin (Foot), Rob Hankins (Concussion), Lene Maiava (Knee), Jacob Arzouman (Knee), Jack Baucus (Multiple), Adam Hall (Knee)

    Questionable: Chris Putton (Concussion)

Nevada Depth Chart and Injury Report

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    Offense: 

    WR - 4 - Brandon Wimberly, SR (6'3", 210)

    TE - 44 - Zach Sudfeld, SR (6'7", 255)

    T - 78 - Jeff Nady, SR (6'7", 310)

    G - 75 - Chris Barker, SR (6'4", 305)

    C - 65 - Matt Galas, SO (6'1", 275)

    G - 77 - Alex Pinto, SR (6'3", 300)

    T - 70 - Joel Bitonio, JR (6'4", 300)

    QB - 17 - Cody Fajardo, SO (6'2", 205)

    RB - 25 - Stefphon Jefferson, JR (5'11", 200)

    SLOT - 81 - Aaron Bradley, SO (6'1", 180)

    WR - 12 - Richy Turner, SO (5'11", 180)

     

    Defense: 

    E - 53 - Brock Hekking, SO (6'4", 260)

    T - 92 - Jordan Hanson, SO (6'2", 285)

    T - 98 - Jack Reynoso, JR (6'3", 275)

    E - 9 - Jake Peppard, JR (6'3", 255)

    LB - 54 - Jeremiah Green, SR (6'2, 230)

    LB - 51 - Albert Rosette, SR (6'2, 245)

    LB - 42 - DeAndre Boughton, SR (6'1", 220)

    CB - 22 - Thaddeus Brown, SR (5'11", 180)

    SS - 5 - Duke Williams, SR (6'1", 190)

    FS - 8 - Marlon Johnson, SR (5'11", 190)

    CB - 2 - Khalid Wooten, SR (6'0", 195)

     

    Specialists:

    PK - 60 - Allen Hardison, JR (6'4", 190)

    P - 37 - Chase Tenpenny, JR (6'4", 245)

    PR - 2 - Khalid Wooten, JR (6'0", 195)

     

    Injury Report:

    Out - Anthony Martinez (Hip), Nigel Westbrooks (Knee)

Arizona Player to Watch: Ka'Deem Carey

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    Arizona running back Ka'Deem Carey trails Jordan Lynch by just 14 yards for the nation's lead in rushing.

    Carey has compiled 1,757 yards on 275 carries (6.4 ypc). He has added 21 touchdowns, 20 of which have come on the ground.

    He is also a threat in the passing game. He places third on the team in receiving yards with 288.

Nevada Player to Watch: Stefphon Jefferson

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    You can rest assured Nevada will feed its workhorse running back Setfphon Jefferson early and often.

    Jefferson is averaging over 28 carries per contest. He has rushed for 1,703 yards, good for fourth in the nation. He has also reached the paint 22 times.

    Jefferson's best outing came against Hawaii in week four. In it, he ran for six touchdowns and 170 yards.

    He will be handed the ball early and often.

Key Matchups

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    Jefferson vs. Carey 

    Though they will not face off on opposite sides of the line of scrimmage, the rushing battle between Stefphon Jefferson and Ka'Deem Carey may very well dictate who wins this game. Both teams rely on their workhorse backs to keep the offense rolling. Whichever back has a better showing will more than likely be on the winning side.

    Arizona Offense vs. Nevada Defense

    Nevada ranks 96th in the nation in points allowed (37.0). If Arizona's up-tempo offense gets going, look for them to score in the 40's or even 50's.

    Nevada Offensive Line vs. Arizona Defensive Line:

    Arizona is battered and bruised on defense. They play a handful of walk-ons and true freshman at key positions, which makes them especially susceptible to teams that can run the ball well. If Nevada gets a good push up front, look for the 'Cats defense to wear down and allow extended drives.

Arizona Will Win If...

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    The Wildcats will win if quarterback Matt Scott limits his turnovers.

    Arizona's defense will undoubtedly allow points, so it's up to the offense to keep the 'Cats competitive.

    In Arizona's loss to ASU, Scott turned the ball over four times, ultimately costing them the game. Despite the four turnovers, the Wildcats still put up 34 points.

    If Scott can limit his turnovers, the Wildcats will outscore the Wolf Pack.

Nevada Will Win If...

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    The Wolf Pack will win if their pistol offense is efficient and keeps Nevada's defense off the field. 

    By now you're very familiar with Nevada's rushing attack. However, they pose a threat through the air as well in quarterback Cody Fajardo. Fajardo has thrown for 17 touchdowns.

    If Nevada can keep its suspect defense off the field and limit Arizona's offensive possessions while putting up points on their sustained drives, the 'Cats could be in for a long day.

Prediction

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    Fifth-year senior quarterback Matt Scott will go out on a strong note, passing for over 250 yards and a pair of scores. Ka'Deem Carey will challenge for the rushing title by putting up 150 plus yards and two scores.

    The Wildcats defense will be opportunistic, performing the bend-but-don't-break way that has helped them pull off upsets over the likes of USC and Oklahoma State.

    Nevada will score in bunches, but the 'Cats potent offense will prove too much.

    Prediction: Arizona 44, Nevada 35

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