The Utah State Aggies take on the UTEP Miners in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl on Saturday. The game is scheduled for a 2:20 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on ESPN. Currently the odds for the game have the Aggies favored by double digits in this one.
Utah State has had a ton of players take snaps this season, but despite injuries the Aggies have marched to nine win. The wins led them to place in a tie for second place in the Mountain West Division of the Mountain West. Today they'll take on a UTEP team that won seven games but alternated victories the last five weeks of the season.
The defense of Utah State will be a huge portion of this game. The Aggies finished the season allowing just under 21 points per game, which was good for the 21st best mark in the country. Utah State did give up 50 in their season finale to Boise State, though.
Winners of two straight bowl games, the Aggies are taking on a UTEP team that hasn't picked up a bowl game victory in 47 seasons. UTEP sophomore running back Aaron Jones leads the Miners on the ground as he's put together games of 177 and 147 yards in two of the team's last three games to the season, both wins. For the season he piled up 1,200 yards and averaged 5.7 yards per carry. The Miners love to run the football, ranking 32nd nationally at 212.7 yards per game, but taking on a tough Utah State defense today will be challenging. UTEP quarterback Jameill Showers is going to have to make plays to keep them in the game.
Kent Myers is the quarterback now for Utah State, having completed almost 70 percent of his passes with 800 yards and five TDs the last six games overall. He also uses his legs, which could be a problem for a UTEP defense that gives up almost 29 points per game.
Utah State is the better team, but UTEP has had the extra practice leading into this bowl game. The double digits seem like too much in the early bowl season.
Free Pick: Utah State 31, UTEP 23
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