ALBUQUERQUE - Ka'Deem Carey likely sealed one rushing title by gaining 172 yards in the Arizona Wildcats' 49-48 New Mexico Bowl win against Nevada.
"It was an overall great season," said Carey, whose 148.38-yard rushing average leads the nation. "I had teammates that pushed me through in the weight room. I had coach pushing me in the field. Without them I couldn't have played this far."
Nevada's Stefphan Jefferson, who entered the game No. 2 in the nation in average, ran for 180 yards Saturday, finishing with 1,883. Carey has 1,929.
"That dude's a great player," Carey said. "I'm happy I got to see him play, just the way he carries himself out there."
Northern Illinois' Jordan Lynch needs 159 yards in the Orange Bowl to pass Carey for the yardage crown.
Carey's average would likely still be higher; Lynch played one extra game.
Two Arizona Wildcats were sent to the locker room early after getting into a fistfight during a timeout.
Defensive tackle Tevin Hood and linebacker Cody Ippolito had to be separated following the scuffle, which occurred on the UA sideline with the Wildcats trailing at the end of the first quarter.
Coaches escorted Ippolito to the locker room immediately; Hood was sent out a few drives later.
UA coach Rich Rodriguez said he couldn't explain what happened in the fight, "because I didn't see it; I was coaching the game."
"But as soon as I heard what happened, we sent the guys to the locker room," he said. "They went home with their parents."
ESPN showed the fisticuffs on the broadcast; within hours, video of the fight went viral.
"It was embarrassing," Rodriguez said. "But I didn't see it, so I can't comment on it."
• Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo "tweaked" his left knee in the third quarter, coach Chris Ault said, after his leg was bent underneath him on a tackle.
That limited his mobility the rest of the way.
"He could not run our read game at that particular time," Ault said. "We had to throw or give it to other guys."
At the end of the third quarter, the sophomore had accumulated 377 total yards, at the time a New Mexico Bowl record.
He gained only 19 fourth-quarter yards, and UA quarterback Matt Scott later broke the mark with 403.
• Tyler Slavin's 2-yard touchdown catch with 19 seconds left was the high mark of an up-and-down season for the Corona, Calif., native. He caught 18 passes for 187 yards all year.
After the game, he cried recalling his struggles.
"I was backtracking through my season. I was thinking," he said. "I started off a little sluggish (this season). For this to happen, it enlightened me. It gave me more motivation."
• The UA allowed at least 600 yards of total offense for the sixth time this season.