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For a second consecutive year, a bowl game will pit the nation's top two leading rushers against one another.
Arizona (7-5) will meet Boston College (7-5) in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, La. The game will be played Dec. 31 at 10:30 a.m. MT.
"We're hoping we have a large contingent of UA fans head out to Shreveport for the holidays," said Wildcats head coach Rich Rodriguez, who is a win shy of matching last season's record.
It will be the Wildcats' second bowl game appearance in as many years and the Eagles' first since the 2011 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.
The match-up was made possible after Oregon was shut out of the Sugar Bowl, keeping the Ducks in the Pac-12 Conference picture and in the Alamo Bowl. Washington State and Colorado State are set to meet in the New Mexico Bowl, which owned the last pick among the Pac-12 bowl tie-ins. The league also picked up another bowl as Oregon State will meet Boise State in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.
Last season, Arizona scored 21 fourth-quarter points - including two touchdowns in the final 46 seconds - to rally for a wild, 49-48 win over Nevada in the New Mexico Bowl. The game featured the nation's leading rusher, Carey, who ran for 172 yards and three touchdowns to edge Wolfpack star Stefphon Jefferson for the crown despite the Nevada back's 180 yards.
Now, Carey is the second-leading rusher in the country with 156 yards per game and 1,716 on the season to go with 17 rushing scores. The nation's rushing champion is determined by average not total yards, and Carey's suspension in the season opener and missed first half the following week have contributed to a total that pales in comparison to his school-record 1,929 rushing yards in 2012. But that did not stop him from earning the Pac-12 offensive player of the year award - a first in Arizona history - and becoming the lone unanimous first-team all-conference selection.
Eagles senior stud Williams is currently preventing Carey from repeating as rushing champion, with a 175.17 yards average all but out of reach. Williams, who has 17 rushing touchdowns this season, also has the most total rushing yards at 2,102 - making him the 16th player in FBS history to top 2,000 yards in the regular season, and the first since 2007.
As back who prides himself on facing the best at his position, Carey said he is looking forward to the showdown.
"I want to show everybody who's the better back," Carey said. "We're going to make a good little show out there."
But Williams gained just 29 yards and a touchdown on nine carries before leaving with an undisclosed injury in the third quarter of a 34-31 loss at Syracuse on Nov. 30. According to ESPN, BC head coach Steve Addazio said Williams will be "ready to roll" for the bowl game.
Carey and Williams are two of three finalists, along with Washington's Bishop Sankey, for the coveted Doak Walker Award - given annually to the nation's top running back. The winner will be announced Dec. 12 in Orlando.
"To tell you the truth, I wish the game was before the Doak Walker," Carey said, "and then you just battle it out there. But I think that's pretty cool."
Williams is one of five finalists for the Walter Camp Award, as well - given annually to the top player in college football. The honor will be handed out the same day.
Both also are in the running for a coveted invitation to New York City for the Heisman Trophy presentation.
"You're looking at maybe the two first-team All-American tailbacks, and rightfully so," Rodriguez said. "That, in itself, I think makes it very compelling."
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Click Here to view this Link.Tracy McDannald
GOAZCATS.com Senior Editor