Nevada (7-6, out of the Mountain West)
14-0 in the third quarter and looked to be in control after they
final offensive drive with a 25-yard field goal by Allen Hardison
left in the fourth quarter to give the Wolf Pack a seemingly solid
But the Wildcats offense came alive on the next
going 75 yards in just 7 plays to score a touchdown when senior
Matt Scott hit sophomore Austin Hill with a 2 yard pass to cut the
to 48-42 with 46 seconds left in the game.
Arizona junior linebacker Marquis Flowers then
first of two crucial plays on the ensuing kickoff, capturing the
onside kick at
the Wildcats 49 yard line.
Scott then drive the Wildcats 51 yards in three
just 21 seconds, and ultimately hitting Tyler Slavin with a 2-yard
pass to tie the game at 48-48.
After a Nevada timeout, Arizona kicker John Bonano
confidently hit his point after to give Arizona a 49-48 lead.
After the kickoff, Flowers stepped up,
intercept a pass by Wolf Pack quarterback Cody Fajardo and Arizona
(8-5, out of
the Pac-12) then ran the clock out to secure the victory.
The Wildcats’ miracle finish overshadowed a
day for Nevada, which set an all-bowl record with 39 first downs
and set a New Mexico Bowl record with 659 yards of total offense. Fajardo
himself set a New
Mexico record with 396 yards of total offense, going 22 of 31
passing for 256
yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
Scott topped the Nevada QB with a 382 yard
performance himself, going 28 of 47 with three touchdowns and two
The battle of the nations top running backs –
KaDeem Carey and Nevada’s Stefphon Jefferson – was pretty much a
No. 1 in the nation, finished with 172 yards on 28 carries and
touchdowns. Jefferson, who came in ranked No. 2, finished with 180
yards on 34
carries with two touchdowns.
Nevada raced out to a 21-0 lead in the first
the impression that the game might not live up to its billing as
shoot out of the bowl season.
Jefferson capped an 8 play, 75 yard drive with
easy16-yard run to give Nevada a 7-0 lead 12:12 into the game.
possessions with the Wildcats, who misfired often early, Nevada
again geared up
and went on a 8 play, 48-yard drive capped by a 17-yard pass from
Zach Sudefield to give the Wolf Pack a 14-0 advantage with 4:43
left in the
Arizona turned the ball over on the ensuing
kick off and
Fajardo needed just one play to score again, catching Sudefield
again for a
28-yard pass to give Nevada a 21-0 lead with 4:29 left in the
But the Wildcats rebounded, answering with an
yard drive capped by a 21 yard run by Carey to make the score 21-7
left in the first quarter.
Arizona then controlled the second quarter,
scoring two more
touchdowns of 1 yard runs – one by Scott and another by Carey to
tie the game
at 21-21 with 10:23 left in the half.
Jefferson capped a long drive by Nevada that
followed to give the Wolf Pack the lead again at 28-21 but Arizona
with a drive that was capped by a 9-yard TD run from Carey to
again tie the
game at 28-28.
Nevada finished the half with a 16 play, 66
yard drive that
climaxed with a 27 yard field goal by Hardison to give Nevada a
The Wolf Pack dominated the third quarter on
both sides of
the ball, scoring twice as Fajardo found Richy Turner all alone
for a 33 yard
pass then ran the ball in himself for a one-yard TD run to give
seemingly commanding 45-28 lead with 1:33 left in the third
But Arizona rallied immediately in the fourth
Scott hit Hill for an epic 63-yard touchdown to cut the Nevada
lead to 48-35
with 14:44 left in the game.
Nevada answered with an 10-play, 30 yard drive
to set up
Hardison’s final field goal with 1:48 left in the game.