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Cat Tracks: Arizona stages thrilling comeback to defeat Nevada in New Mexico Bowl

Sure, you could read the box score and know who won, but we all know that won’t tell you everything that happened in a football game. So, we give you ‘Cat Tracks’, providing you with the analysis, quotes and notes from Arizona’s December 15 win over Nevada in the New Mexico Bowl. Final score: Arizona 49, Nevada 48.

The Good:

The Arizona Wildcats staged a thrilling comeback in the game’s waning minutes to stun Nevada 49-48 in the New Mexico Bowl.

The ‘Cats recovered an onside kick in the final minute of play, which helped set up Matt Scott’s two-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Slavin. The extra point gave Arizona the lead with 19 seconds left in the game. Wildcat linebacker Marquis Flowers intercepted Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo’s desperation pass to preserve the win.

Arizona’s senior quarterback threw for 382 yards and three touchdowns in the win.

The nation’s leading rusher, Ka’Deem Carey, faced off against the second-leading rusher Stefphon Jefferson of Nevada. Carey ran for 172 yards and three scores while Jefferson tallied 180 yards and two touchdowns on the ground for the Wolf Pack.

The Bad:

Arizona’s defense got torched early, especially on the ground. The Wildcats surrendered a total of 403 rushing yards against Nevada. The ‘Cats also gave up 256 yards in the air. The defense did, however, manage to make two huge stops late in the game to give the offense a chance to win the game.

Scott tossed two interceptions on the day, but was able to redeem himself late and lead the Wildcats to an exhilarating victory.


• Terrence Miller was initially credited for the winning touchdown reception but it was his teammate Tyler Slavin, who had changed jerseys on the sideline, that came up with the winning grab.

• Arizona held the lead for just 19 seconds of game time.

• The teams combined for 1,234 yards of total offense in Saturday’s showdown.

• The Wildcats failed to score in the third quarter.

Coming Up Next:

The Wildcats finished the 2012 season with an 8-5 record and New Mexico Bowl victory under first-year head coach Rich Rodriguez.