Tucson, AZ - Arizona ventures to its eastern-most bowl destination to take on Boston College, a program it has never faced on the gridiron, for a New Year's Eve bowl game. Both teams starting arriving before noon. Arizona players were busy flying in from all parts of the country while Boston College gathered quickly for a short afternoon practice.
Much of the spotlight will shine on the nation's two leading rushers BC's Andre Williams and UA's Ka'Deem Carey.
Williams edged out Carey for the Doak Walker Award and it's the first time a pair of first-team Associated Press All-America running backs square off in a bowl game. While both teams have found success on the ground this season, they do it in different ways. The Eagles are a more traditional offensive system, while the Wildcats spread teams out and play at a fast tempo.
The Cats have found more room to throw the ball, especially late in the season as the passing game progressed … The Eagles pose a stern threat with a pass rush that produced 35 sacks, while the Wildcats created more pressure themselves late in the campaign. Two disciplined squads, led by the Eagles who are the third-least penalized team in the nation.
Keep an eye on third downs, the Wildcats convert at a 46-percent clip when they have the ball, while the Eagles have moved the chains just 33-percent of the time. Motivation should be high for each school, which both suffered setbacks to end the regular season in late November. However, BC head coach Steve Addazio has his club in a bowl in his first season, something UA's Rich Rodriguez did a year ago. Each has his program poised for bigger successes, and a win will set a positive tone for the offseason