New Mexico St ends drought, faces Utah St in Arizona Bowl
Arizona Bowl: New Mexico State (6-6) vs. Utah State (6-6), Friday, 5:30 p.m. Eastern (CBS Sports Network).
Line: Utah State by 4.
Series Record: Utah State leads 30-7 between the former members of the WAC, Big West and Sun Belt conferences.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
New Mexico State is looking to get a postseason victory after earning its first bowl appearance in 57 years, ending the longest bowl drought in NCAA history. Utah State wants to cap a turnaround season with a win after being picked to finish last in the Mountain West Conference.
Utah State’s defense vs. New Mexico State QB Tyler Rogers. Rogers was second nationally with 347.7 passing yards per game and threw for 26 TDs. Utah State allows 181.9 yards per game, which was 19th nationally. Something has to give.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Utah State: CB Jalen Davis. A second-team AP All-American, Davis had five interceptions and returned three for touchdowns.
New Mexico State: RB Larry Rose III. The senior ran for 807 yards and nine touchdowns this season. He has 36 career rushing TDs, second in a school history.
FACTS & FIGURES
New Mexico State’s last bowl game was a 20-13 victory over Utah State in the 1960 Sun Bowl. … Utah State has been to bowl games six times in the past seven years. … New Mexico State set a school record with 41 sacks this season, including a record 11 against Idaho on Nov. 25. … Utah State was tied for ninth nationally with 26 turnovers forced, including 15 fumbles.
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