ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. >> Anu Solomon threw two touchdowns passes and ran for another score to help Arizona hold off pesky New Mexico 45-37 on Saturday in a wild New Mexico Bowl.
Arizona (7-6) and its quick offense overwhelmed the Lobos (7-6) in a game that saw New Mexico surge late after being down as many of 18 points.
Jared Baker ran for 107 yards and three touchdowns, and Cayleb Jones had 182 yards receiving and a touchdown. Linebacker Scooby Wright III, who battled injures all season, came back for the bowl game and made two sacks.
For coach Rich Rodriguez’s Wildcats, the New Mexico Bowl win came just a year after Arizona made it to the Pac-12 championship game and eyed a playoff spot.
New Mexico quarterback Lamar Jordan rushed for three touchdowns and threw a 92-yard touchdown pass to Delane Hart-Johnson before leaving the game in the third quarter with an injury.
The Lobos then turned to a committee of running backs to get New Mexico back in the game.
Still, Arizona was able to hold star running back Jhurell Pressley to 75 yards rushing and no touchdowns.
It was New Mexico’s first bowl appearance since 2007 after years of turmoil in the program and, after former Norte Dame coach Bob Davie took over to rebuild. The game at its home-field New Mexico Bowl had excited the city of Albuquerque following the long bowl drought.
Arizona is 9-10-1 in bowl games. New Mexico fell to 3-8-1 in the postseason.