New Mexico Bowl – New Mexico Lobos (+8.5) vs Arizona Wildcats

Posted: December 17, 2015 in College football, Football
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new mexico bowl

These schools have a long history that dates back to 1908. Arizona leads the all-time series 43-20-3. The last meeting was in 2008, a 36-28 (+10.5) New Mexico home win. They met in the bowl in 1997, with Arizona winning 20-14 (-9.5). New Mexico has played in this bowl twice, losing to San Jose State 20-12 (-3) in 2006 and beating Nevada 23-0 (-2.5) in 2007, while Arizona won their lone appearance in the bowl 49-48 (-8.5) over Nevada. Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez is 2-1 SU/1-2 ATS in bowl games with the Wildcats and was 2-4 SU/1-5 ATS in bowl games at Michigan and West Virginia. This is New Mexico head coach Bob Davie’s first bowl with the Lobos and he was 0-3 SU/ATS at Notre Dame. The two head coaches have one prior meeting in 2001 when Rodriguez was at West Virginia and Davie at Notre Dame with the Fighting Irish winning 34-24 (-12).

New Mexico has assured itself of its first winning season since 2007. Fourth year head coach Davie had to do a major rebuild when he took over a team that finished 1-11 in back-to-back-to-back seasons. New Mexico suffered a lot of attrition last year, but entered this season with 14 returning starters. After starting 3-2, including a win over rival New Mexico State, the Lobos dropped two of three heading into their bye week. Regrouped, they won three of their last 4, despite being the ‘dog in all four, with all three wins as double digit ‘dogs, including beating Boise on the “Blue” as 31 point ‘dogs!

Arizona won the Pac- 12 South last year, but only returned 13 starters this year, including just six senior starters. Things worsened when All-American linebacker Scooby Wright was injured (played just two games) and quarterback Anu Solomon missed two full games, including the Territorial Cup loss (concussion). They had five Pac-12 road games, losing four and played 12 straight weeks. After starting 5-2, the Wildcats then dropped four of their last five, with their lone win in that span an upset over Utah in double overtime.

Arizona has faced the much tougher schedule and has more talent. They are missing three of their top four linebackers from the start of the year, but Wright will play here. Even though New Mexico is playing this on their home field, they will be excited for their first bowl since 2007. Versus two mutual opponents, Arizona was plus 64 yards per game and New Mexico was minus 199 yards per game. Over their last four games, New Mexico was playing their best ball of the year.


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