2018 New Mexico Bowl: Three Good Reasons To Watch
Utah State and North Texas should be a good game.
Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire
Bowl season starts with the New Mexico Bowl
The Gildan — gotta get that sponsor in — New Mexico Bowl pits Utah State from our beloved Mountain West vs. North Texas which hails from Conference USA.
For each bowl game, we will give everyone three reasons to tune into this game, and more so if you have zero interest in this game.
Offense, you like offense, right?
These two teams have the potential to put up a show as their offenses were near the top in nearly all categories within the Mountain West and Conference USA. Even nationally these two teams are top 20-ish in yards per play, total yards and points per game in traditional and also within most stats according to Football Outsiders.
The leading force behind these offenses are the team’s quarterbacks. We are all familiar with Aggie QB Jordan Love who was second-team all-Mountain West. The Mean Green are led by QB Mason Fine who was named Conference USA’s player of the year for the second consecutive season.
The running games are even as well with the only difference being that Utah State has a pair of backs in Darwin Thompson and Geral Bright, whereas North Texas has one primary back in DeAndre Torrey who rushed for 942 yards and 14 touchdowns.
This game could come down to who has the ball last or what defense can actually make a stop.
History of wild finishes in ABQ
Five of the prior six New Mexico Bowl games have been decided by eight points or less. So, there is a lot of fun potential in this game.
A few memorable moments include:
– Mike Leach used poor clock management which allowed Colorado State two win in 2013.
– Nearly 100 points between Nevada and Arizona in 2012 which saw the Wolf Pack blow a 21-7 and 45-28 lead in the fourth quarter.
– New Mexico’s rally vs. Arizona in 2015 came up short. Lobos trailed 35-17 but lost 45-37.
How will Utah State play with an interim coach?
Coaching turnover at bowl games is always a concern and Utah State lost Matt Wells to Texas Tech and the team it will be Frank Maile as the interim coach for Utah State.
The Aggies lost multiple coaches to Lubbock so the team is sort of scrambling to make adjustments to who is coaching what since not all coaches are sticking around through bowl season. The one positive note is that David Yost will be calling plays and running the offense for the New Mexico Bowl.
North Texas nearly avoided the same scenario as Seth Litrell was linked to the Kansas State job.