College football bowl season is here.
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Starting on December 15th, the Nevada Wolf pack vs. Arizona Wildcats will kick off the busy bowl schedule. The Gildan New Mexico Bowl is the first of many and should provide a great start to the bowl season.
Nevada vs. Arizona Odds: The betting line in this game opened up with the Arizona Wildcats listed as (-9) point favorites and has since moved to (-9.5) in several places as 64 percent of the public has bet on the more popular Pac-12 team.
The total is set for 75 in this game and although it may seem high it is for good reason.
Both teams come into this game off sub-par seasons and struggled to become bowl eligible. Both teams enter this game with just seven wins each and they stumbled at the end of this season. One of the reasons for the sluggish end to the season was poor play on defense.
The Wolf Pack defense allowed 32, 39, 48 and 52 points in four of their five losses on the season due to a scoring defense that is one of the worst in the country. Nevada allows 32.5 points and 431.17 yards per game, and is ranked No. 86 nationally in total defense. The Wildcats rank 116th out of 120 Div. I FCS teams.
The Wolf pack offense does pack a punch. The Wolf Pack boasted the nation’s No. 7 rushing attack with 260 yards per game. The bulk of that went to junior running back Stefphon Jefferson, who rushed for 1,703 yards and 22 touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Cody Fajardo added 981 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground to go with an efficient 2,530 yards and 17 touchdowns through the air. (Via David Helman)
Nevada faced three bowl teams this year and lost all three games. Nevada does not have one win against a team that will go bowling this season.
Like Nevada, Arizona has a questionable defense that is only covered up by an explosive offense. The Senior QB Matt Scott took to Rich Rodriguez’s spread-option attack with aplomb, and running back Ka’Deem Carey finished second in the nation in rushing. (Via Ted Miller)
The Arizona Wildcats sophomore running back was named a first-team All-American by Athlon Sports Tuesday, a day after receiving similar honors from CBSSports.com.
When it comes to big wins, Arizona gets the nod. The Wildcats defeated the Oklahoma State Cowboys and USC Trojans, and narrowly missed knocking off the Oregon State Beavers, Arizona Wildcats and Stanford Cardinal. (via pigskin report)
Gildan New Mexico Bowl Predictions*Video*
The Arizona Wildcats also are dealing with coaching rumors as the recent coaching carousel is circling rapidly and a few high profile teams have eyes on Rodriquez.
So @bfeldmancbs reports he’s heard Auburn had interest in Rich Rod and Jim Mora. I’ve heard Tennessee had interest in Rich.
— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) December 4, 2012
Although the Auburn job has been filled and the Tennessee job is doubtful at best, these types of reports distract a team from preparing for a bowl game.
Don’t expect a strong fan base to travel for the Wildcats. The New Mexico Bowl takes place on the same day as the UA’s winter graduation; that night, the Wildcats will play their highly anticipated home basketball game against Florida. This is not good news for a program that has traditionally struggled in the posts season Arizona is 6-9-1 all-time in the postseason. The Wildcats have sports betting trends against them in this meeting as well.
The Wildcats are 9-21 against the spread (ATS) in their last 30 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against the MWC.
Nevada is not the best team in college football but the Wildcats have no interest in showing up for this game. Arizona squeaks out a win in a high-scoring affair.
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