New Mexico Bowl Odds & Predictions – Nevada vs. Arizona 12/15/12

Last Updated: December 12th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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New Mexico BowlOur 2012 bowl predictions kick off on Saturday, December 15th with the New Mexico Bowl, and we are set to make our New Mexico Bowl predictions, tips, and keys to the game for the duel between the Nevada Wolf Pack and the Arizona Wildcats.

2012 New Mexico Bowl: Nevada Wolf Pack vs. Arizona Wildcats
2012 New Mexico Bowl Location: University Stadium, Albuquerque, NM
2012 New Mexico Bowl Date/Time: Saturday, December 15th, 1:00 p.m. (ET)
2012 New Mexico Bowl On TV: ESPN, Watch ESPN

Click Here For The Rest Of The 2012-13 Bowl Game Schedule And Other Bowl Game Previews

Key #1: Stefphon Jefferson cannot wear down
It’s really tough to imagine just how many times Jefferson has carried the ball this year for the Wolf Pack. He is averaging touching the rock over 30 times per game in the Pistol offense, and he is going to have be going full bore against this Arizona defense from start to finish. The Wildcats allowed 189.8 yards per game this year on the ground to opponents, and the only comparable teams to this Nevada club that they played were the Oregon Ducks (228 rushing yards allowed), Oklahoma State Cowboys (200 rushing yards allowed), and UCLA Bruins (308 rushing yards allowed). We know that it isn’t just Jefferson that is going to be carrying the ball on Saturday, as QB Cody Fajardo is going to be doing so as well, but it is Jefferson that has to keep those chains moving on a regular basis, and he is also going to be tabbed with making sure that the Wolf Pack stay on schedule with down and distance. They’ll make their big plays, and Jefferson will be part of that, but Jefferson has to keep running the ball and running it hard for the full 60 minutes.

New Mexico Bowl Odds at WagerWeb Sportsbook
Nevada Wolf Pack +9
Arizona Wildcats -9
Over/Under 77
Click Here to Bet Your New Mexico Bowl Picks!

Key #2: Austin Hill must stretch the field
The Wildcats are a team that can run the football and run the heck out of it, too. We already know that RB Ka’Deem Carey will get his yards and his touchdowns from in close, but to move the pigskin in chunks, it’s going to require a solid effort from WR Austin Hill. QB Matt Scott averaged 7.2 yards per pass attempt this year, including 24 touchdowns. Hill was not just the leading receiver for the team with 73 catches, 1,189 yards, and nine scores, but he also led the team in yards per catch with 16.3. Hill had a few absolutely massive games this year, including 139 yards against Toledo, 125 yards against Okie State, 165 yards against Stanford, and 259 yards against USC. He hasn’t had a 100+ yard game since the end of October, but this could be the secondary that he could torch. The Wolf Pack did only allow 218.3 passing yards per game this year, but there were a lot of games that were played against teams that run it more than they throw it. The last truly excellent quarterback/receiver tandem that Nevada saw this year was against the Fresno State Bulldogs when QB Derek Carr threw for 220 yards and two TDs and WR Davante Adams had nine catches, 120 yards, and trip to the end zone.

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Key #3: The Wolf Pack have to be a bit unpredictable
Predictability has been a major problem for Nevada over the course of the last several bowl games. The team has only won one bowl game since the 2005 Hawaii Bowl, and a lot of these games have featured terrible offensive showings. For example, Nevada has averaged just 17.0 points per game in its last six bowl games this year. The problem the Wolf Pack have is that they run a unique offense that is just too darn simple. It doesn’t take all that long to figure out this offense if you study enough game tape, and though there isn’t always enough time to figure out in preparation for this offense in just one week’s time, getting ready for a bowl game with 16 extra practices is a totally different story. The Pack have to be thrilled that they are playing one of the first bowl games of the year this year though, as it only gives Head Coach Rich Rodriguez two weeks to figure out how to counter this fantastic offense. Still, Fajardo and the gang are going to have to show some more creativity in this one, or once the Arizona defense gets settled, it could really figure out how to wreck havoc on this Pistol attack.

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Posted in College Football - Last Updated on Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 @ 9:42 am (EST)
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