Nevada Drops Heartbreaker To Arizona, 49-48

Stefphon Jefferson

Dec. 15, 2012

Final Stats |  AP Photo Gallery 

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Matt Scott threw two short touchdown passes in the final 46 seconds and college football's postseason started with a wild one when Arizona rallied past Nevada 49-48 Saturday in the New Mexico Bowl.

Overcoming a slow start and three big turnovers, Arizona (8-5) recovered an onside kick in the last minute, setting up Scott's 2-yard toss to Tyler Slavin with 19 seconds left for the winning score.

Arizona trailed 21-0 in the first quarter and was down 45-28 entering the final period. Scott threw for 382 yards and marched his team back into the game despite two earlier interceptions.

The nation's rushing leader, Ka'Deem Carey, gained 172 yards for the Wildcats and but fell short of becoming only the 16th running back in NCAA history to reach 2,000 yards in a season.

The teams combined for 1,237 total yards, the second most of any bowl game.

Cody Fajardo threw for three touchdowns and ran for another score to lead the Wolf Pack (7-6). He had 256 yards passing and 140 yards rushing and controlled most of the game, completing 22 of 32 throws.

Stefphon Jefferson, the nation's second-leading rusher, ran for 180 yards for Nevada and also seemed unstoppable as the Wolf Pack took a big lead and held on to it for most of the game.

But after forcing Nevada to kick a field goal with 1:48 left that made it 48-35, Scott drove the Wildcats 75 yards. Arizona then recovered an onside kick and Scott moved Arizona into the end zone after three plays and 51 yards.

Rich Rodriguez, in his first season as Arizona head coach, is now 3-5 in bowl game appearances.

Postgame Notes
Nevada vs. Arizona
Gildan New Mexico Bowl
Dec. 15, 2012
With the loss to Arizona, Nevada moved to 517-447-33 all-time and Hall of Fame Coach Chris Ault saw his record go to 233-109-1 … Nevada finished the 2012 campaign at 7-6.

With 180 yards on 34 carries, Stefphon Jefferson set the Nevada and Mountain West record for most rushing yards in a single season. He passed Chance Kretschmer (2001) at Nevada and Ronnie Hillman (SDSU, 2011) for the Mountain West mark. Jefferson finished the year with 1,883 yards on the ground and will likely finish second in the nation behind Ka’Deem Carey of Arizona.

With 140 yards on 22 carries, sophomore quarterback Cody Fajardo went over the 1,000-yard mark in rushing for the year, finishing with 1,121 yards.
That gives Nevada two 1,000-yard rushers on the year and the 2012 Wolf Pack became the 55th team in NCAA history to accomplish the feat. Nevada has now done so four times in the last five seasons.
The duo is the first Mountain West players to do so.

Connor Talbott started his first career game, starting at guard in place of Alex Pinto/Sebastian Tretola … Bryson Keeton starting his first career game, starting at cornerback in place Charles Garrett … Keeton got his first career interception … 16 Nevada seniors played their final games … Senior guard Chris Barker started his 53rd straight game (all 53 games of his career), which extends his school record … Brandon Wimberly caught seven passes for 57 yards to extend his streak of consecutive games with a reception to 40 (sixth-longest streak in the nation) … Zach Sudfeld caught two touchdowns passes to set the Nevada record for most TD receptions by a tight end (Previous: Adam Bishop, 7, 2007) … Nevada committed a penalty in the second quarter – it’s first since the second quarter of the New Mexico game on Nov. 17.

NCAA Bowl Game
Most plays (combined, both teams): Nevada-Arizona, 188 (Previous, 187, by Auburn-Northwestern in 2010 Outback Bowl).
Most first downs: Nevada, 39 (Previous, 36—Oklahoma (48) vs. Virginia (14) (Gator, Dec. 29, 1991) (16 rush, 18 pass, 2 penalty); Marshall (64) vs. East Carolina (61) (2 ot) (GMAC, 2001) (9 rush, 25 pass, 2 penalty).
Most first downs, both teams: Nevada-Arizona, 70 (Previous: 62—North Carolina St. (56) [34] vs. Kansas (26) [28] (Tangerine, 2003).
Most first downs rushing: Nevada, 28 (Previous: 26—Oklahoma (40) vs. Auburn (22) (Sugar, Jan. 1, 1972); Navy (51) vs. Colorado St. (30) (Poinsettia, 2005).
Most first downs rushing, both teams: Nevada-Arizona, 38 (Previous: 36—Colorado (47) [24] & Alabama (33) [12] (Liberty, 1969); Miami (FL) (46) [16] & Texas (3) [20] (Cotton, 1991).

Mountain West Conference Single-Season
Tie – most rushing touchdowns: Stefphon Jefferson, 24 (Tied with Luke Staley, BYU, 2001).
Most 100-yard rushing games: Stefphon Jefferson, 10 (Previous: Nine, by five players).
Most rushing yards: Stefphon Jefferson, 1,883 (Previous, Ronnie Hillman, SDSU, 1,711).
First rushing duo over 1,000 yards rushing each: Stefphon Jefferson and Cody Fajardo (First time in MW history a team has had two 1,000 yard rushers).

Mountain West Conference game:
Tie – Most first downs in a game: 39 (Tied with two other teams).

Mountain West Conference Bowl Game
Most first downs rushing by a Mountain West team in a bowl: 28 (Previous, 18, by Air Force vs. Houston) Dec. 31, 2009.
Most total first downs by a Mountain West team in a bowl:  39 (Previous, 31, by Georgia Tech vs. Georgia Tech) Dec. 29, 2005.
Most yards rushing by a Mountain West team in a bowl: 403 (Previous, 402, by Air Force vs. Houston) Dec. 31, 2009.
Most rushing attempts by a Mountain West team in a bowl: 73 (Previous, 72, by Air Force vs. Houston) Dec. 31, 2009.

School Single-Season
Conventional scoring: Stefphon Jefferson, 150 (extends record set previously this year).
Touchdowns: Stefphon Jefferson, 25 (extends record set previously this year).
Rushing touchdowns: Stefphon Jefferson, 24 (extends record set previously this year).
Most rushing yards: Stefphon Jefferson, 1,883 (Previous, Chance Kretschmer, 1,732 in 2001).
Most rushing attempts: Stefphon Jefferson, 375 (extends record set previously this year).
Most 100-yard rushing games: Stefphon Jefferson, 10 (Previous, Vai Taua, 9 in 2009).

School Single-Game
Most plays in a game (FBS history): 105 (Previous, 94 vs. Texas Southern and Utah State in 1993).
Tied – Most first downs in a game: 39 (Tied with 39 vs. Sacramento State, 1977; Stands as Nevada’s FBS record).



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