The field is set for the seventh annual Gildan New Mexico Bowl with the Arizona Wildcats accepting the invitation offered by the Gildan New Mexico Bowl Sunday. The game, slated for Saturday, Dec. 15, at 11 a.m. MT/1 p.m. ET, pits the Pac-12 member against the Nevada Wolf Pack. Owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN, the bowl game will kick off the FBS postseason from University Stadium on the University of New Mexico campus and airing nationally on ESPN, ESPN 3D and ESPN Radio.
“We are very happy to host the Arizona Wildcats in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl,” said Jeff Siembieda, Gildan New Mexico Bowl Executive Director. “They are a terrific, exciting football team having a tremendous season. Coach Rodriguez has done a great job in his first year with the Wildcats with some huge wins this season. U of A is first class in everything they do and we look forward to having them in Albuquerque to open the bowl season.”
The Wildcats are bowl-eligible for the fourth time in the last five seasons. Their last bowl game was the 2010 Alamo Bowl (36-10 vs. Oklahoma State) and their last bowl victory was the 2008 MAACO Las Vegas Bowl (31-21 vs. BYU). Overall, Arizona is 6-9-1 in the postseason.
Arizona, the first Pac-12 team to play in the Albuquerque-based bowl game, is 7-5 overall and 4-5 in conference play. The Wildcats have been ranked among the nation’s best all season, cracking the top 25 or receiving votes in every poll since Week 2. They upset two ranked teams, beating 18th-ranked Oregon State (59-38) and 10th-ranked USC (39-36). Arizona also boasts the nation’s leading rusher, Ka’Deem Carey, who has tallied 1,757 yards.
It is an interesting match-up with Nevada, which has the nation’s second leading rusher in Stefphon Jefferson. Arizona is seventh in the country in total offense while Nevada is 11th. The two programs have met before, but not since 1941. To date, the all-time series is 1-1-1.
“What a great matchup to kickoff college football’s post season,” Siembieda said. “Two of the top offenses in America, the top two running backs in the country, two of college football’s top quarterbacks and playmakers all over the field. I think we’ve got the potential for a great, exciting football game.”