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Ka'Deem Carey top rusher in NCAA for now

Carey has a chance to end the year as the top rusher in college, with a total of 1,929 yards.

USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't the top story in Arizona's dramatic 49-48 comeback win over Nevada in the New Mexico Bowl, but Ka'Deem Carey ran for just enough yards to hold on to the NCAA rushing title over his Wolf Pack counterpart Stephon Jefferson.

Jefferson actually outgained Carey in the game, 180 yards to 172, but it wasn't enough to leapfrog the Arizona Wildcats star running back. Jefferson needed to outrun Carey by 55 yards to take the rushing crown. Carey finished the year with 1,929 yards — good for tops in the NCAA, for now at least.

Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch has a chance to reclaim the rushing title in the Orange Bowl, but he will need to gain 159 yards to do so.

Carey set an Arizona record with 23 rushing touchdowns this year, but was still humble afterwards, telling Arizona Sports that Jefferson is a great player.

"I'm happy I got to see him play and just the way he carries himself out there. He won the battle, that's how you do it."

Lynch has the best chance to supplant Carey as the nation's leading rusher. Montee Ball of Wisconsin is nearly 200 yards behind, with 1,730, and UCLA Bruins back Johnathan Franklin is only at 1,700 yards.