North Texas (9-3, Conference USA) vs. Utah State (10-2, Mountain West), Dec. 15, 2 p.m. EST
LOCATION: Albuquerque, New Mexico
North Texas: QB Mason Fine, 3,734 yards passing, 27 touchdowns.
Utah State: QB Jordan Love, 3,208 yards passing, 28 touchdowns.
Utah State: The Aggies lost their opener at Michigan State and their final regular season game at Boise State 33-24. But in between, Utah State rattled off 10 consecutive wins — a stretch good enough to convince Texas Tech to hire their coach, Matt Wells.
North Texas 31, Utah State 23 (October 9, 2004).
North Texas: Nine bowls, first appearance in New Mexico Bowl.
Utah State: Eleven bowls, second appearance in New Mexico Bowl.