New Mexico vs. UTSA New Mexico Bowl prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Lobos and Roadrunners in Albuquerque, NM.
New Mexico vs. UTSA New Mexico Bowl Preview
When: Saturday, Dec. 17 – 2:00 p.m. ET
Where: University Stadium, Albuquerque, New Mexico
TV Broadcast: ESPN
The Lobos (8-4, 6-2 Mountain West) will be playing in their second bowl game under head coach Bob Davie, who has done a wonderful job of bringing New Mexico back to respectability. New Mexico earned a berth last year to this game, and the Lobos fell to Arizona in a very entertaining contest. The Lobos’ eight regular-season wins are their most since winning eight in 2007.
Meanwhile, the Roadrunners (6-6, 5-3 Conference USA) became eligible for the postseason in their final regular season game, as Dalton Sturm and Jared Johnson combined for 414 passing yards and three touchdowns in a 33-14 win over Charlotte to become eligible for a bowl for the first time in the six-year history of the program.
When these teams met in San Antonio in 2014, quarterback Lamar Jordan ran for a touchdown and over 100 yards, helping the Lobos rally for a 21-9 win. Jhurell Pressley finished with 102 yards on five carries, including a 77-yard touchdown run that put New Mexico up 21-9 with 7:37 left. New Mexico had eight different players with carries, as it out-rushed the Roadrunners 283-112.
What To Know About New Mexico
Playing in the New Mexico Bowl will give Lobo fans another chance to see their team play in-person. It will also give UNM home-field advantage and the chance to get the win it was unable to earn in last year’s game. Davie is very content that his team is able to be in this game because he had said that he’d have a hard time watching another team play on his field. The last time we saw the Lobos in action, they put on a rushing clinic in a 56-35 home win over Wyoming. Teriyon Gipson ran for a career-best 217 yards and two touchdowns, while Richard McQuarley had three touchdowns and 121 yards. Jordan also had a career-best with 176 yards on the ground and threw for 122 yards as UNM finished with 568 rushing yards, the most Wyoming has ever allowed. New Mexico entered the game leading the country in rushing at 342 yards per game, and it far surpassed the total in the first half against the Cowboys (428). Dominant does not begin to describe how well UNM ran the football.
What to Know About UTSA
One week after the Roadrunners suffered a 23-10 non-conference loss to Texas A&M in College Station, which featured the squad putting forth a very strong road effort against an SEC team, Frank Wilson’s team notched its sixth win of the season over Charlotte to earn a postseason bid. This is a young FBS program that has made a lot of progress since its C-USA inception, and Wilson has proved to be the right fit in his first collegiate head-coaching gig despite some inconsistent play throughout the fall. UTSA showed its potential in its upset win over Southern Miss earlier this season, and the Roadrunners would love to cap off a fine season with a postseason win over the Lobos.
Offense: New Mexico. The Lobos have rushed for 4,331 yards and scored 45 touchdowns this fall.
Defense: Even. New Mexico ranks No. 57 in total defense, while UTSA checks in at No. 58.
Special Teams: New Mexico. Kicker Jason Sanders has missed just one field goal and is perfect on his extra-point attempts.
Coaching: New Mexico. Wilson has had a very nice first season, but Davie has the Lobos in back-to-back bowl games.
Intangibles: New Mexico. The Lobos have home-field advantage in a bowl game. It doesn’t get much better than that for the Mountain West program.
Matchup To Watch
New Mexico ground game vs. UTSA defensive front
What the Lobos offense did to the Wyoming defense was criminal. They asserted their will and had complete control, jumping out to a huge lead and never looking back. It was old-school football, and it was a fun clinic to watch. UTSA will have no chance in this one if UNM is allowed to run the ball at will. The Roadrunners must get the Lobos into uncomfortable third-down situations, which would force them to throw the ball—which isn’t their strength.
Spread: No Spread (as of post)
Over/Under: No Line (as of post)
New Mexico vs. UTSA Prediction
The Lobos won’t have quite the rushing day that they had against Wyoming, and the Roadrunners will stick around for at least a half. But that determined rushing mindset will eventually wear down the UTSA front, allowing Davie and Co. to get a win on their home field.
New Mexico vs. UTSA Final Score Prediction: New Mexico 34, UTSA 23
Campus Insiders Staff Picks
Brian Stultz: New Mexico
Dave Miller: New Mexico
Jeff Bartl: New Mexico
Rich Cirminiello: New Mexico
Robert Judin: New Mexico
Jordan Cornette: New Mexico