Welcome back to the second part in a 40-part series that will probably get exhausting, but we’ll try it anyway! I’m going to try to get all of Saturday’s bowls in today, but we’ll see if I actually pull it off. Here’s the first one for today, if you haven’t read it yet go back and read yesterday’s Celebration Bowl piece.
10. First FBS Bowl
The Celebration Bowl may technically kick off bowl season, but the first FBS bowl of the season will kick off in New Mexico about two hours later. Arizona and New Mexico square off on Saturday in what should be a fun game for offense lovers. Rich Rod and Bob Davie will be sure to pull out all the stops in this slugfest, so this should absolutely be worth the watch especially for those of us caught up in our “SEC bias” who haven’t watched much of these two this year.
9. Hoping Arizona Repeats the 2012 Performance in New Mexico
For those of you who don’t remember, Arizona kicked off the 2012 bowl season in New Mexico in an absolute thriller against Nevada. Two top ten offenses squared off and they didn’t disappoint. The Wildcats ended up recovering an onside kick down 48-42 with like 40 seconds left on the clock. It was wild. A handful of the players from that team are left over, and if Saturday’s game is half as entertaining as the 2012 rendezvous then it’s a can’t-miss game.
8. Scooby Wright’s Last College Game…Probably
It’s always bittersweet to watch a college star play in their last college game. Wright could come back next season, but all indications are that he will probably be playing on Sunday next season. Scooby burst onto the scene last season after his strip sack of Marcus Mariota to seal the upset win over Oregon, which would spark hundreds of “Scooby Snacks” and other cartoon references in the coming months. However, Scooby Wright isn’t just a one-hit wonder with a catchy name, he has real substance and has all of the tools to play linebacker at the next level and it’s worth tuning in to see him in the college ranks one last time.
7. New Mexico Returns to New Mexico Bowl
For a team like New Mexico (UL Lafayette is another good example), who frankly is rarely going to factor into the national championship equation, earning a bowl bid to the home state bowl and getting one more game in front of the “home” fans is a worthy goal. Unfortunately, the Lobos haven’t been able to secure a spot in the New Mexico Bowl since 2007, but that’s all in the past now and Bob Davie’s crew will most certainly not want to disappoint their in-state supporters.
6. Ken Griffey, Jr. Proud Dad Air-Time
Ken Griffey, Jr. was one of my favorite athletes as a kid and still probably ranks as my favorite baseball player of all time. Get ready to see several obligatory shots of him either on the sideline or in the stands on Saturday. Why? That’s what ESPN does when famous parents attend games. Not that there’s anything wrong with that there is a certain feeling of nostalgia seeing some of your childhood heroes cheering on there kids. Griffey is apparently big into photography, so he may be on the sideline snapping some pictures so get ready for that potential talking point too.
5. Rich Rod’s Offense
Rich Rodriguez is well known for his high-powered offense, only recruiting skill players who run a 4.5 40-yard dash or better, and spurning any SEC team who wants to hire him. Many of you may remember him reportedly accepting the Alabama job only to turn it down, which eventually led to Nick Saban being hired. Well Rich Rod was at it again recently, where he turned down South Carolina’s advances (not to make the Gamecocks sound too much like a dirty mistress) a few weeks ago before they settled on Will Muschamp. Anyway, this is getting off the rails, Rich Rodriquez’s offense always put on a show so prepare yourself.
4. The Spirit of Kit Carson’s Rifle
Arizona and New Mexico is actually an old college football rivalry complete with the necessary obscure trophy and everything. This game was traditionally played for Kit Carson’s Rifle. In case anyone needs a refresher, Kit Carson was a western Mountain Man who is a legend and the namesake for Nevada’s capitol city, Carson City. Anywho, Kit Carson’s Rifle was awarded to the winning team in this game for the first 63 meetings between these two teams, but was retired in 1997 because of Carson’s history of violence against Native Americans. Daniel Snyder was not consulted about this decision.
3. New Mexico’s Rushing Offense
We already mentioned the Wildcats’ offense, but don’t forget about the Lobos. New Mexico is 8th in the country in rush offense and the spread option attack is one of the most excited versions of a run heavy approach out there. Jhurell Pressley is the big dog with over 800 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns, but the dual threat attack with QB Lamar Jordan is a key cog for this offense. Pressley and Jordan are a dynamic option attack out of the backfield and it’ll be fun to watch Scooby chase them all afternoon.
2. Double Hurry Up Equals Double the Fun
We’ve already discussed both offenses a little so let’s just sum it up by saying this: these teams are going to pack as many plays into the 60 minutes of game clock they can so get ready. Regardless of where you stand on this hurry-up debate, it is both here to stay and undeniably entertaining so if you hate it just deal with it and enjoy it at this point because it’s either that or start watching badminton.
1. It’s Saturday and College Football Can’t End Yet
Bringing the article full circle, let’s just throw out that this is the 39th last FBS football game of the season and there are only three Saturdays of college football left (insert sad emoji). So I’ll just conclude by saying, have fun and enjoy the game!