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New Mexico Bowl: It’s UTEP, Utah State

Turns out, the speculation was correct. The UTEP Miners (7-5) and the Utah State Aggies (9-4) will play at University Stadium Dec. 20 in the ninth annual Gildan New Mexico Bowl.

Both teams and both coaching staffs are familiar with University Stadium and both have had recent success there. The Miners opened their 2014 season in Albuquerque with a 31-24 victory over New Mexico. Utah State was last here in 2013, when the Aggies hammered the Lobos 45-10.

Utah State coach Matt Wells is a former UNM assistant — twice. He worked for Rocky Long, then for Mike Locksley before returning to Utah State, his alma mater, as an assistant. He took over the head coaching job last year after Gary Andersen’s departure for Wisconsin.

The game could be a classic matchup, pitting UTEP’s power running game against one of the toughest run defenses in the nation. Look for prolific Miners running back Aaron Jones to see a lot of Aggies linebacker Zach Vigil, the Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year, and vice versa.

 

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