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12/15/2012 8:26 PM EST
Arizona overcomes Nevada 49-48 in New Mexico Bowl
ARIZONA 49, NEVADA 48

By RUSSELL CONTRERAS
Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Matt Scott watched helplessly as Nevada
kicked a field goal to pad its lead. The Arizona quarterback had
already thrown two interceptions, and now needed two quick
scores and some luck - in a hurry, too - to somehow win the New
Mexico Bowl.



Scott even admitted he didn't have "positive" thoughts before
returning to the field.



But in the final 46 seconds, Scott threw two short touchdown
passes and college football's postseason started with a wild one
as Arizona rallied past Nevada 49-48 Saturday.



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.



"It's not easy to come back from that situation," Scott said.
"You're not necessarily going to think the most positive thing
at the time, but we went out there and took care of business. It
was just a big drive. I still can't believe it."



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 those two earlier
interceptions.



"I mean, it's improbable," first-year Arizona coach Rich
Rodriguez said.



"Certainly, I've had some games come down to that end," he said.
"But to have everything, the defense making the stop, to the
field goal, Matt leading the quick drive down there, getting the
onside kick ... and then Matt leading down again. It just
doesn't happen very often."



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.



Arizona receiver Austin Hill caught eight passes for 175 yards
and two touchdowns. The teams combined for 1,237 total yards.



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 down 75 yards in
about a minute. Arizona then recovered an onside kick and Scott
marched his team into the end zone after three plays and 51
yards.



"They scored 14 points in less than two minutes," Nevada
linebacker Albert Rosette said. "I'm still in shock right now."



Nevada head coach Chris Ault said the team pass defense just
didn't make a play when it was needed.



"Well, it's a sick feeling," he said. "Congratulations to
Arizona. They held in there and did it, but it's a sick
feeling."



Ault said a late injury to Fajardo also hurt Nevada's running
game in the last six or so minutes of the game.



"He ran it one time, just tucking it up in there," Ault said.
"But we could not run our read game at that particular time."



Rodriguez, who took a year off from coaching after a
disappointing stint at Michigan, is now 3-5 in bowl game
appearances. He called his New Mexico Bowl win among his best
career wins as a coach.



"It's the latest and the greatest so far," Rodriguez said.



---



Follow Russell Contreras on Twitter at
http://twitter.com/russcontreras

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