Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 12/14/12
11am in Albuquerque will surely be explosive this Saturday. The New Mexico Bowl pits 7-5 Nevada of the Mountain West Conference against a 7-5 Arizona from the Pac-12. This is sure to be a shoot out as each team has many weapons on the offensive side of the ball.The spotlight will definitely be shining brightly on the quarterbacks and the studs in the backfield for both teams. Arizona has consensus first team All-American and the nations leading rusher in Ka'Deem Carey, as well as dual threat gunslinger Matt Scott, under center. The Nevada Wolf Pack have the nations second leading rusher in Stefphon Jefferson at tailback, and their ever dangerous dual quarterback themselves, in Cody Fajardo.The difference in numbers is minimal when comparing these two outstanding backs. Jefferson averaged a whopping 142 yards a game, only outmatched nationally to Carey's impressive 147. Jefferson totaled 22 rushing scores during the regular season, Carey notched 20. Carey ended the regular season leading the Pac 12 in rushing with 1,757 yards and 20 touchdowns and Jefferson led the Mountain West Conference with 1,703 yards and 22 touchdowns. This game will be the test to see how each running back will perform on the big stage. Sure, this isn't the Sugar, Orange or even the Rose bowl, but pride is on the line, as too are bragging rights. Each of these running backs is a competitor, plain and simple. Carey is a sophomore, and Jefferson a junior, so each will be wanting to make a case for themselves as far as playing at the next level. This game just adds to their already impressive resumes.The ground game is undoubtedly the focus of both teams, and how this game will ultimately be won. Prepare for some interesting developments in the secondary of both teams. Neither team boasts an incredibly sound defensive backfield, and so these quarterbacks may well end up with some great numbers through the air. Whomever can stop the ground game, and whichever teams offensive line can be more effective, will be the winner in this contest. The first bowl game of the post season is sure to be a do-see, and will kick off the plethora of bowl games in style.As college football winds down for the year, games like this will remind viewers of the season that has transpired, and why this game is so great to watch and be a part of.All bias aside, I predict that the Wildcats come out on top in an extremely close contest that showcases the great skills of each of these talented teams, with the running backs getting their deserved notoriety on the afternoon. The leadership and experience of senior quarterback Matt Scott, will prove to be the difference in this match up.
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