Austin Hill leads Arizona with 1,189 yards receiving.
When Arizona (7-5, 4-5 Pac-12) takes on Nevada (7-5, 4-4 Mountain West) in the 2012 New Mexico Bowl, fans will have the opportunity to witness some immensely talented individuals, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
The Wildcats rank eighth in the nation in total yards and capitalize on it to the tune of 37.3 points per game. Nevada isn't far behind, ranking 14th in total yards and putting up 37 points of their own.
Defensively, both teams struggle mightily. Arizona surrenders 34.3 points per game, which ranks 103rd in the nation. Nevada allows 32.5, good for 96th.
Suffice it to say, the biggest playmakers in this one will predominantly reside on the offensive side of the ball.
Here are five Arizona starters better than their Nevada counterparts.
Arizona relies on its passing attack more than Nevada. The 'Cats rank 31st in total yards passing, whereas the Wolf Pack ranks 54th.
Consequently, Arizona receivers are more involved in the offense than their Nevada counterparts.
That starts at the top with Arizona receiver Austin Hill. Hill leads Nevada's Brandon Wimberly in receptions (73 to 63), yards (1,189 to 788), yards per catch (16.3 to 12.5) and touchdowns (nine to four).
Hill's biggest game of the year came in Arizona's upset of USC. Hill recorded 259 yards in the win.
The sophomore from California has caught five or more balls in all but two games this season. Week in and week out, Hill gets looks from quarterback Matt Scott. And, more often than not, he's a difference-maker because of it.
Arizona's advantage across the field at the WR No. 2 position isn't quite as decided.
Nonetheless, Arizona wideout Dan Buckner gets the nod over Nevada's Richy Turner.
The Wildcats' senior has five more receptions, 85 more yards receiving and three more touchdowns than the Nevada sophomore.
Look for Buckner to go out with a bang in his final game as a Wildcat.
Even the casual fan with little interest in the outcome of the New Mexico Bowl would be wise to tune in to watch Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey and Nevada's Stefphon Jefferson face off.
Carey leads the nation with 146.4 yards rushing per game. Jefferson comes in second with 141.9.
Jefferson holds the edge in rushing touchdowns, 22 to 20. However, the Arizona sophomore holds a decided edge in yards per carry (6.4 to 5.0). He also serves as an outstanding weapon in Arizona's passing game. He has 288 yards receiving out of the backfield, 118 yards greater than his Nevada counterpart.
The Arizona sophomore, who remains humble despite receiving a handful of awards for his play, gets the nod for his efficiency and the threat he poses in both the run and pass game.
Nevada linebacker Albert Rosette is no slouch. In fact, Rosette was the recipient of the Golden Helmet Award at the Wolf Pack's football awards banquet.
So why would Arizona's Jake Fischer get the nod over him?
I'll admit that picking between the two wasn't easy. It's made that much more difficult when you consider that both have different roles and responsibilities in drastically different defensive schemes.
Fischer, like Rosette, is the heart and soul of the Arizona defense. And he's very accomplished.
Where Fischer gets the nod is in his ability to penetrate the opponent's backfield. Fischer has more unassisted tackles and more tackles in the backfield than Rosette. Not the fastest or most athletic linebacker, Fischer makes up for it in instinct. He has become the 'Cats most consistent defensive playmaker.
Through his first eight games, Scott failed to match or exceed his season QB rating of 132.8 just twice. One of those times, he won Pac-12 Player of the Week.
However, his last three games were anything but special. QB ratings of 101.7, 106.4 and 108.3, losses in two of three outings and four turnovers against ASU substantially dragged Scott down statistically.
While Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo has a bit better QB rating and touchdown-to-interception ratio, the differences between the two aren't enough for me to place him above Matt Scott as a player.
Whereas Fajardo's biggest performances of the year came against the likes of Hawaii and San Diego State, Scott conquered the likes of USC and Oklahoma State.
Furthermore, before Scott came up woozy against the Trojans, an argument could've been made for placing Scott among the nation's top QBs.
While Fajardo is excellent in his own right, he's not relied upon by the Wolf Pack the same way Scott is relied upon by the 'Cats. Expect a healthy and focused Matt Scott ready to go out on a high note in this one.