The NOVA® Home Loans Arizona Bowl is in its second year and the Tucson community has been extremely supportive in bringing a bowl game back to the Old Pueblo.
The NOVA® Home Loans Arizona Bowl was sanctioned in March 2015 as the 41st NCAA college football game and the third bowl game staged in Arizona. Kicking off in December 2015, the NOVA® Home Loans Arizona Bowl will be the first-ever bowl game to have a digitally-focused broadcast strategy as orchestrated by primary media partner, Campus Insiders. The NOVA® Home Loans Arizona Bowl is dedicated to promoting community engagement and support in the Tucson area.
The 2015 inaugural NOVA® Home Loans Arizona Bowl was owned and operated by the Arizona Sports & Entertainment Commission (ASEC) which successfully organized and executed an incredible bowl experience in a very short time period. To ensure the long-term sustainability of the Bowl in Tucson, in early 2016, ASEC recommended that the bowl ownership be transitioned to a local Tucson organization, owned and managed by local community leaders. As a result, TD4Tucson was established as a 501c3 to retain the licensing of the NOVA® Home Loans Arizona Bowl. Due to their integral involvement in providing first class Bowl experience, ASEC has been retained to provide on-going consultation and direct game day operations. Ali Farhang, Chairperson of TD4Tucson, stated, “I am so grateful for the leadership and fortitude that ASEC demonstrated by bringing a Bowl game to Tucson. Their experience and guidance was instrumental to executing a 5-star event under extremely challenging circumstances. I am pleased that the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl and our local community will continue to be the benefactor of their knowledge and leadership. The transition of ownership to TD4Tucson and continued partnership with ASEC is a tremendous win for Southern Arizona.”
Sophomore RB James Butler was named the NOVA® Home Loans Arizona Bowl Offensive MVP after rushing 24 times for 189 yards and two touchdowns. Butler’s 189 rushing yards is a Nevada bowl record, eclipsing Stephon Jefferson’s previous record total of 180 in the 2012 Gildan New Mexico Bowl. Butler closed his sophomore season with 207 carries for 1,342 total rushing yards, 6.5 average yards per carry and 10 touchdowns. Butler’s 1,342 rushing yards on the season ranks 11th all-time in program history. Butler scored the game-winning touchdown, giving Nevada a 28-23 lead with 66 seconds remaining in the game. Butler broke free for a 77-yard touchdown rush in the second quarter, marking the longest rush in Nevada bowl history.
Senior DE Ian Seau was named the NOVA® Home Loans Arizona Bowl Defensive MVP after five tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble and one pass breakup. Seau’s 3.0 tackles for loss are the third-most in Nevada’s bowl history. Seau closed the season with 10.0 sacks, which is tied for the fifth most sacks in a single season in program history along with Kevin Basped (2008). Seau ended his Wolf Pack career with 38 total games played, 105 tackles, 34.0 TFL and 18.5 sacks. In program history, Seau ranks sixth in sacks and ninth in career TFL.