Nevada drops New Mexico Bowl 49-48 to Arizona

In charge nearly the entire way, Duke Williams and Nevada let

the New Mexico Bowl spin out of control at the end.

Matt Scott threw two short touchdown passes in the final 46

seconds and college football’s postseason started with a wild one

when Arizona recovered a late onside kick and rallied past the Wolf

Pack 49-48 Saturday.

Nevada led 21-0 in the first quarter and was ahead 45-28

entering the fourth period. The Wolf Pack (7-6) had a chance to

seal the win, but a hard-spinning kick bounced off Williams’ chest

and was covered by Arizona’s Marquis Flowers.

Scott then tossed a 2-yard TD pass to Tyler Slavin with 19

seconds left.

”You come down to the last 2 minutes or whatever it was and we

don’t make a play,” Nevada coach Chris Ault said. ”It happened.

It’s reality.”

”You look at that and you feel, I’m just sick for those

seniors. There’s no question about it. I’m sick for this whole

football team. We had an opportunity to win a football game and we

didn’t,” he said.

Nevada led 48-35 with 1:48 left after Allen Hardison made a

25-yard field goal.

Arizona (8-5) quickly scored a touchdown, setting up the onside

try. Wildcats kicker John Bonano grounded it fast at Williams.

Earlier, Williams made an interception at the Wolf Pack 8. This

time, no such luck.

”The ball bounced 2 feet away from me,” he said. ”It was

coming hot. I just figured I’d make the play and when it counted, I

wasn’t able to make it. It was coming hot. The ball was coming real

fast. Two feet away from me, it bounced up, popped up and bounced

off my shoulder pad.”

Arizona was still 51 yards away from the end zone without a

timeout, Wolf Pack linebacker Albert Rosette pointed out.

”If we recover it, the game is over,” he said. ”They got it,

but they still have to go down and score a touchdown. They don’t

have any timeouts. The game is not over. We can still keep them out

of the end zone. It’s not like they can kick a field goal. It’s

hard to see them recover, but it wasn’t the game.”

Matt Scott hit Garic Wharton for 28 yards and Austin Hill for 21

yards. The Wildcats completed the improbable comeback with Scott’s

short throw to Slavin.

”They scored 14 points in less than 2 minutes,” Rosette said.

”I don’t know. I’m still in shock right now. We made some mistakes

there at the end. We still felt we were in it. We still felt that

we were going to win that game and to lose like that, it

hurts.”

Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo finished with 256 yards passing

and three touchdowns, while also rushing for 140 yards and another

score.

Wolf Pack running back Stefphon Jefferson gained 180 yards and

scored twice.

Two of Fajardo’s scoring tosses went to tight end Zach Sudfeld,

both in the first half as Nevada took a big lead.

Arizona came back behind running back Ka’Deem Carey, who

finished with 172 yards and three touchdowns. Scott threw for 382

yards and three scores and also ran for one.

”It was an unbelievable game,” Sudfeld said. ”Just the

momentum swings back and forth. Just big swings on both sides. It

was a crazy game to play in.”