New Mexico Bowl 2012: Arizona and Nevada Will Light Up Scoreboard in Albuquerque

Mike HoagCorrespondent IIDecember 15, 2012

TUCSON, AZ - NOVEMBER 23:  running back Ka'Deem Carey #25 of the Arizona Wildcats rushes the football against the Arizona State Sun Devils during the college football game at Arizona Stadium on November 23, 2012 in Tucson, Arizona. The Sun Devils defeated the Wildcats 41-34.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats (7-5) and Nevada Wolf Pack (7-5) are going to put up a ridiculous number of points in the 2012 Gildan New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque.

There’s a very good chance this first game of this year’s bowl season ends up stealing the show until the BCS games in January.

This year’s showdown features the No. 1 and No. 2 running backs in the entire FBS and shouldn’t disappoint on the scoreboard.

Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey leads the nation with 146.4 rushing yards per game. If Carey can eclipse 243 yards on the ground, and that’s very possible in this one, he would become the 16th player in NCAA history to break the 2,000-yard mark.

Nevada’s Stefphon Jefferson isn’t far behind at 141.9 per contest. If Jefferson can out-duel Carey, he could walk away as the nation’s top rusher this season.

“It’s going to be show time between me and him. There’s the game, and then it’s me vs him. I think it’s two games in one,” Carey said, according to Gregg Found of

Rich Rodriguez, head coach of the Wildcats, implemented his high-tempo spread offense in Arizona and the team hasn’t looked back since. The team finished 29th in total passing with a 291.4 yards per game average through the air.

Running the ball has been the team’s strength, though. Led by Carey, the Wildcats are racking up 230.4 yards per game on the ground (15th in the FBS).

So what does Arizona have to worry about in this one?

Nevada’s offense is just as potent as its opponents. Its 260 yards per game on the ground is seventh best in the FBS.

But offense alone isn’t the reason this game is going to excite fans to no end. Neither of these teams plays very much defense.

Arizona is giving up 34.3 points per game while the Wolf Pack isn’t very far behind, surrendering 32.5 each week.

So, what we have here are the makings of a good old-fashioned slobberknocker.

Who will it be, though? Will Carey finish Rich Rodriguez’s re-building of the Wildcats’ offense with a record-clinching performance to lead his team to victory?

Or will it be Jefferson, who trails Carey by 54 yards, that puts the Wolf Pack on his shoulders in a big bowl win?