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New Mexico Bowl
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NEW MEXICO BOWL
New Mexico Bowl History
New Mexico (6-6)
Schedule/Results / Bowl History
San Jose State (8-4)
Schedule/Results / Bowl History
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Date: Saturday, December 23
Time: 4:30 pm EST
TV: ESPN

Game Preview

by Mike Mitchell

Don't let their record fool you. San Jose State enters this game with eight wins, but that's head-and-shoulders above the record of any team they defeated.

Those eight victories came against schools that had a cumulative 17 wins over 1-A teams, none of whom came close to posting a winning record. The Spartans got past:

Stanford (1-11 vs. 1-A)
1-AA Cal-Poly (1-1 vs. 1-A)
San Diego State (3-8 vs. 1-A)
Utah State (1-11 vs. 1-A)
Louisiana Tech (2-10 vs. 1-A)
New Mexico State (2-8 vs. 1-A)
Idaho (3-8 vs. 1-A)
Fresno State (4-8 vs. 1-A)

New Mexico, meanwhile, had just five wins against 1-A schools. They did manage to defeat Utah, but that was their only win over a team that posted a winning season. The Lobos were one of just seven 1-A teams that managed to lose to a 1-AA school out of the 78 games played this season. They needed overtime to beat a UNLV team that finished 2-10, and lost by a score of 24-7 to an Air Force squad that won just three other games.

The inaugural edition of this bowl will be played on New Mexico's home field in Albuquerque. The Lobos will be looking for their first bowl win since 1961 when they defeated Western Michigan 28-12 in the only Aviation Bowl ever played. Only 3,000 fans attended that postseason affair in Dayton, Ohio. New Mexico's only other bowl win occurred in the 1945 Sun Bowl when they posted a 34-24 triumph over Denver.

This marks San Jose State's first bowl appearance since winning the 1990 California Bowl in Fresno, a game they appeared in four times from 1981-1990.

Running back Rodney Ferguson is the fuel that sparks the New Mexico offense. He ran for 1,132 yards which was 242 more yards than the conference's number two rusher.

Defensively, the Lobos surrendered over 360 yards a game and ranked last in the Mountain West in pass defense. San Jose State gained just over 362 yards per game, but ranked 7th in the 9-team WAC in passing offense.

Spartans' running back Yonus Davis gained 984 yards on an average of 6.3-yards per carry.