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New Mexico Bowl: Arizona QB Matt Scott leads wild comeback

Published December 15, 2012 8:04 pm

New Mexico Bowl • Two touchdowns in final minute lift Wildcats to victory.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Albuquerque, N.M. • 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. —

Arizona 49, Nevada 48

R Wildcats quarterback Matt Scott threw two touchdown passes in the final 46 seconds to lead the winning rally after trailing 45-28.

• Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey, the nation's rushing leader, gained 172 yards. —

Bowl schedule

Saturday

New Mexico Bowl • Arizona 49, Nevada 48

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl • Utah State 41, Toledo 15

Thursday

Poinsettia Bowl • San Diego State (9-3) vs. BYU (7-5), 6 p.m. (ESPN)

Friday

Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl • Ball State (9-3) vs. UCF (9-4), 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Saturday, Dec. 22

New Orleans Bowl • East Carolina (8-4) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (7-4), 10 a.m. (ESPN)

MAACO Bowl • Boise State (10-2) vs. Washington (7-5), 1:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Monday, Dec. 24

Hawaii Bowl • SMU (6-6) vs. Fresno State (9-3), 6 p.m. (ESPN)

Wednesday, Dec. 26

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl • Central Michigan (6-6) vs. Western Kentucky (7-5), 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Thursday, Dec. 27

Military Bowl • Bowling Green (8-4) vs. San Jose State (10-2), 1 p.m. (ESPN)

Belk Bowl • Duke (6-6) vs. Cincinnati (9-3), 4:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Holiday Bowl • Baylor (7-5) vs. UCLA (9-4), 7:45 p.m. (ESPN)

Friday, Dec. 28

Independence Bowl • Louisiana-Monroe (8-4) vs. Ohio (8-4), noon (ESPN)

Russell Athletic Bowl • Virginia Tech (6-6) vs. Rutgers (9-3), 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Meineke Car Care Bowl • Minnesota (6-6) vs. Texas Tech (7-5), 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Saturday, Dec. 29

Armed Forces Bowl • Rice (6-6) vs. Air Force (6-6), 9:45 a.m. (ESPN)

Fight Hunger Bowl • Arizona State (7-5) vs. Navy (8-4), 2 p.m. (ESPN2)

Pinstripe Bowl • Syracuse (7-5) vs. West Virginia (7-5), 1:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Alamo Bowl • Texas (8-4) vs. Orgeon State (9-3), 4:45 p.m. (ESPN)

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl • Michigan State (6-6) vs. TCU (7-5), 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Monday, Dec. 31

Music City Bowl • Vanderbilt (8-4) vs. N.C. State (7-5), 10 a.m. (ESPN)

Sun Bowl • Georgia Tech (6-7) vs. Southern Cal (7-5), noon (CBS)

Liberty Bowl • Iowa State (6-6) vs. Tulsa (10-3), 1:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Chick-fil-A Bowl • LSU (10-2) vs. Clemson (10-2), 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Tuesday, Jan. 1

Heart of Dallas Bowl • Purdue (6-6) vs. Oklahoma State (7-5), 10 a.m. (ESPNU)

Gator Bowl • Mississippi State (8-4) vs. Northwestern (9-3), 10 a.m. (ESPN2)

Capital One Bowl • Georgia (11-2) vs. Nebraska (10-3), 11 a.m. (ABC)

Outback Bowl • South Carolina (10-2) vs. Michigan (8-4), 11 a.m. (ESPN)

Rose Bowl • Stanford (11-2) vs. Wisconsin (8-5), 3 p.m. (ESPN)

Orange Bowl • Northern Illinois (12-1) vs. Florida State (11-2), 6:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Wednesday, Jan. 2

Sugar Bowl • Florida (11-1) vs. Louisville (10-2), 6:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Thursday, Jan. 3

Fiesta Bowl • Kansas State (11-1) vs. Oregon (11-1), 6:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Friday, Jan. 4

Cotton Bowl • Texas A&M (10-2) vs. Oklahoma (10-2), 6 p.m. (FOX)

Saturday, Jan. 5

BBVA Compass Bowl • Pittsburgh (6-6) vs. Mississippi (6-6), 11 a.m. (ESPN)

Sunday, Jan. 6

GoDaddy.com Bowl • Kent State (11-2) vs. Arkansas State (9-3), 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Monday, Jan. 7

BCS National Championship • Notre Dame (12-0) vs. Alabama (12-1), 6:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Saturday, Jan. 19

RAYCOM College Football All-Star Classic • Stars vs. Stripes, 1 p.m. (CBSSN)

East-West Shrine Classic • East vs. West, 2 p.m. (NFLN)

Saturday, Jan. 26

Senior Bowl • North vs. South, TBA (NFLN)