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Football Notes: New Mexico bowl rematch

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Quarterback Matt Scott and head coach Rich Rodriguez hoist up the New Mexico Bowl trophy after a comeback 49-48 win against University of Nevada at University Stadium in Albuquerque, N.M., on Dec. 15, 2012. This weekend, the two teams will meet again for the first time since the New Mexico Bowl.

The last time Arizona football faced Nevada, UA football head coach Rich Rodriguez channeled “Dumb and Dumber” for inspiration.
In the 2012 New Mexico Bowl, the Wildcats found themselves down 48-35 with 1:48 to play.

“It was over for all practical purposes,” Rodriguez said. “When they kicked the last field goal, we were down by just 13, instead of being down by three scores. It was like the movie ‘Dumb and Dumber’: ‘So, you’re telling me there’s a chance?’”

The Wildcats rallied to win 49-48 after two touchdown passes by then-senior quarterback Matt Scott and grabbing an onside kick.
“As far as who deserved to win the game, we won it, so we’re not giving it back,” Rodriguez said. “Clearing for three-and-a-half quarters, they outplayed us.”

This week, Nevada comes to Tucson to face the Wildcats on Saturday, led by senior quarterback Cody Fajardo.

“The same quarterback that had about a thousand yards on us is back,” Rodriguez said. “They basically were taking it to us, and the last couple minutes of the game, Matt Scott got hot and we snuck one out.”

Then a sophomore, Fajardo passed for 256 yards and ran for 140 yards in the New Mexico Bowl.

“We haven’t stopped him yet,” Rodriguez said on Monday.” I think he’s still getting yards.”

That night, the men’s basketball team rallied from a six-point deficit in the last minute to beat No. 5 Florida in Tucson.
“They made T-shirts about that day, didn’t they?” Rodriguez said. “That was a great day to be a Wildcat.”

Senior safety Jared Tevis, Arizona’s player from the 2012 team that was available to the media on Monday, didn’t have fond memories of that day, though, saying, “40-some points we gave up, so we gotta amend for that.”

Nevada is 2-0 this season after beating Washington State 24-13 last Friday in Reno, Nev.

Deep in the heart of Texas

Sophomore receiver Cayleb Jones made an immediate impact in his homecoming game last week at UTSA.

Jones is from Austin, Texas, the home of the University of Texas. He transferred to Arizona from the Longhorns after his freshman season and sat out last season per NCAA rules.

Arizona opened the game with an 85-yard touchdown reception by Jones. That was the eight-longest pass play in school history, and Jones led all receivers with 143 yards on four catches.

“It was a great experience being able to go back to Texas and see my family,” Jones said.

This season, Jones has seven catches for 173 yards, an average of 86.5 a game. He is eighth in the Pac-12 Conference in receiving yards per game.

Skowron getting his kicks

On Monday, junior kicker Casey Skowron won two national awards.

Skowron was named one of three Lou Groza Award Stars of the Week and National Specialist of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards. The redshirt junior connected on all four of his field goals attempts last week at UTSA.

“We don’t win the game if Casey Skowron didn’t kick well,” Rodriguez said.

Night out for the white out

On Monday, the Pac-12 announced that Arizona’s conference opener will be at 7 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.

The Wildcats’ “white out” game against California will be on Sept. 20. Six more Arizona games don’t have starting times yet.

—Follow James Kelley @jameskelley520

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