Good thing we didn’t have the Gildan New Mexico Bowl listed as one of our worst non-BCS bowls, you guys. Otherwise, we might have prematurely labeled it one of the snoozers of this bowl season and looked like a bunch of idiots.
Oh, we did? Whoops.
Which is what Nevada coach Chris Ault might be muttering to himself after allowing Arizona to score 14 points in less than two minutes to give the Wildcats a stunning and totally awesome 49-48 win over the Wolf Pack to kick off bowl season. Nevada looked to have the game secured with a 25-yard field goal with 1:48 remaining to give the Wolf Pack a 13-point lead. But, seeing as defense had been largely “optional” throughout much of the game, that gave way to the joke that’s also somewhat serious: perhaps Nevada had left a bit too much time on the clock.
A quick scoring drive by Arizona aided by some prevent defense and a successful onside kick not only allowed Rich Rodriguez‘s team to get back in the game, but to pull ahead with just 19 seconds remaining in the game. Ironically, the offensive showdown ended in a defensive play when Marquis Flowers intercepted a Cody Fajardo.
It was a game that had it all, including fighting! Arizona nose tackle Tevin Hood and linebacker Cody Ippolito exchanged some blows on the sideline in the first half with the Wildcats down early. Football is an emotional sport and there’s nothing particularly special about teammates fighting, but HEY IF YOU’RE DONE HITTING THE OTHER TEAM HIT YOUR TEAMMATES AMIRITE?
Arizona finishes its first season under Rodriguez with an 8-5 record and a win over USC, which was a top-10 team at the time. It’s a four-game turnaround from the 4-8 campaign a year ago. Nevada finishes the season at 7-6.