Nevada Wolf Pack vs. Arizona Wildcats
Tip-off: Saturday, December 15, 2012 – 1:00 PM ET
University Stadium, ALBUQUERQUE, NM
Online sports betting experts believe the Arizona Wildcats and the Nevada Wolf Pack are very much the same.
The two college football teams boast two of the country’s most prolific offenses and are led by two of the nation’s leading rushers. Moreover, they also share a big resemblance defensively in that they don’t play any.
In what is shaping up to be a high-scoring New Mexico Bowl, the Wildcats and the Wolf Pack will meet in Albuquerque on Saturday.
Arizona and Nevada each had high hopes for one of the more prestigious bowl games with the way their seasons started.
The Wildcats (7-5) got as high as No. 22 in the poll after opening 3-0, which included a 59-38 win over then-No. 18 Oklahoma State Cowboys on Sept. 8. Arizona was then quickly brought back to earth with a 49-0 defeat to third-ranked Oregon Ducks in their fourth game, and any chance of appearing in their first Rose Bowl was dashed with an 0-3 start in Pac-12 play.
The Wolf Pack got off to a 6-1 start to become bowl eligible but also finished 7-5.
Nevada is allowing an average of 32.5 points and are 13th-worst in the FBS against the run, giving up 213.2 yards per game. One of their biggest disadvantages is on third down, as they let rivals convert 47.2 percent of the time for the nation’s 12th-worst mark.
YouWager experts consider that as bad as the Wolf Pack’s defense is, the Wildcats may have a worse one.
Arizona ranks 103rd out of 124 FBS schools in scoring defense at 34.3 points per game and is fifth-worst in total defense with an average of 485.7 yards allowed. Thirty of the 52 touchdowns Rich Rodriguez’s 3-3-5 defense gave up came on the ground, which is tied for the ninth-most.
These schools are both powered by the run game.
The Wildcats’ Ka’Deem Carey averages an FBS-best 146.4 rushing yards and has 20 touchdowns on the ground. The sophomore was a first-team all-Pac-12 selection after establishing a school record with 1,757 rushing yards.
While the Wolf Pack will likely have its hands full trying to tackle Carey, the Wildcats have to face a similar challenge in trying to contain Stefphon Jefferson.
These schools haven’t met since the Wildcats’ 26-7 victory in 1941, which evened the series at 1-1-1.