(Tucson, AZ) Today’s fourth Arizona Bowl nicknamed the “Wolf Bowl” this year with the Nevada Wolfpack and The Arkanasas Stats Red Wolves is bound to be exciting and well worth the price of admission.
Nevada comes back to Tucson having played in the inaugural Arizona Bowl. Their victory over fellow Mountain West foe the Colorado State Rams 28-23 gave the Bowl their beginnings and a foothold into the national bowl scene.
Two years ago, South Alabama gave the Air Force Academy a tough game for the first half before being shut out by the Falcons in the second half enroute to a convincing 45-21 win.
Last year, the Arizona Bowl stomped its foot down hard saying, “We Belong” with a game for the ages. After all was said and done, Ali Farhang and his crew came away with the eighth best bowl game of 2017. Quite an accomplishment for a then three year old event.
The back story of the New Mexico State Aggies coming back to the bowl scene after a fifty seven year absence. The 1960 Sun Bowl in El Paso Texas ironically they played against the same opponent, the Utah State Aggies.
This contest featured back to back kickoff returns for touchdowns by Utah State’s Savon Scarver and New Mexico State’s Jason Huntley. A rare feat in any level of football. The game went back and forth and appropriately would be settled in overtime on a touchdown run by New Mexico State Aggie running back Larry Rose III for a 26-20 final.
Because of that game, instant national attention came upon Tucson and the Arizona Bowl. Not only was the game well attended with 39,132 fans, the events during the week, the feedback from both universities drew CBS Sports into the fray. Farhang and the Nova Home Loans Bowl Committee hit the jackpot. “We have arrived.”
The sky is the limit with this Bowl and great matchups will further propel this game into the future with possible Power 5 Conference opponents down the road.
Saturday’s game is speed against size. Nevada and Arkansas State will most likely feature 60% pass and 40% run offensive game plans. That’s what’s got them here.
The Wolfpack are led by senior quarterback Ty Gangi who passed for 3,424 yards and 28 touchdowns this season.
The running game netted 1,898 yards with freshman back Toa Taua leading the team with a team high 816 yards.
On the other side of the field, the Red Wolves from Jonesboro Arkansas bring in similar numbers. senior quarterback Justice Hansen won the Sun Belt Plauer of the Year with 3,172 passing yards of a team total 3,384 yards.
Another freshman Marcel Murray was the leading Arkansas State back gaining 793 yards and 7 of the team’s 17 total touchdowns.
Both teams have had ups and downs on defense. Arizona fans will recognize Nevada’s defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel. The Red Wolves counter with Joe Cauthen.
Arkansas State looks to have an advantage on team speed, but Nevada may have edge on size.
You’ll want to buckle up and hang on. This looks to be a high scoring game which will add extra excitement.
There still tickets as low as $25 available for the fastest growing bowl in the nation, don’t be on the outside looking in.