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Bowl or Bust! New Mexico State vs. South Alabama: Preview, Start Time, TV, Radio, Prediction

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Storylines abound in this sure-to-be epic matchup.

New Mexico State running back Larry Rose III (3) gets past UTEP defensive back Nik Needham and into the end zone to score a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Las Cruces, N.M., Saturday, Sep. 23, 2017. (Andres Leighton/ for the Journal)
New Mexico State running back Larry Rose III (3) gets past UTEP defensive back Nik Needham and into the end zone to score a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Las Cruces, N.M., Saturday, Sep. 23, 2017. (Andres Leighton/ for the Journal)

Date: Saturday, December 2

Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. MT

Location: Aggie Memorial Stadium, Las Cruces, New Mexico

TV: ESPN3

Radio: KXPZ 99.5

Betting Odds: NMSU is favored by 9.5 according to Oddsshark.

Series History: South Alabama leads the series 1-0, winning last year 35-28.


Editor’s Note: I am so excited for this game and fear that I won’t be able to give a unbiased, unemotional preview but I will do my best. Here is goes.

New Mexico State Preview

A win and they’re in. A win and the Aggies get to six wins and break the nation’s longest bowl drought at 57 years.

A win and NMSU goes to the Arizona Bowl.

A win and NM State gets their first win against South Alabama and moves Doug Martin into the top 10 in program history for career wins.

A win and Las Cruces goes crazy.

It all starts this Saturday at 2:30. I’m excited. Ok, now to football.

Tyler Rogers returns at quarterback for the Aggies after sitting out last week with a shoulder injury. His return is huge for the Aggies as their offense revolves around their 5th ranked passing offense (343.6 yards per game). Nick Jeanty was solid in replacement of Rogers but only managed to score 17 points.

Larry Rose III put the team on his shoulders last weekend rushing for two touchdowns, leaving him one shy of tying James Pilot’s program record for career touchdowns (37). He is definitely pumped up for the chance at bowl eligibility, wanting all of his teammates to share in the glory of turning the program around.

The defense looks to build off their best effort of the season last week, recording 11 sacks and forcing two quick turnovers. They’ll need to do that again to make sure there is no doubt as to whether or not they will get to six wins!

UTEP wide receiver Eddie Sinegal, right, misses a reception that is intercepted by New Mexico State defensive back Shamad Lomax during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Las Cruces, N.M., Saturday, Sep. 23, 2017. (Andres Leighton/ for the Journal)
Shamad Lomax (22) is one of a host of senior NMSU football players playing for bowl eligibility on senior night Saturday

MAKE SURE TO GET TO THE GAME!

South Alabama Preview

South Alabama can’t make it to a bowl game at 4-7, but they have a reason to play. Head Coach Joey Jones is resigning after this season, so this will be his last game. Jones is the last remaining head coach in the FBS who was a player for Bear Bryant, the legendary coach at Alabama.

USA has been inconsistent this year, beating good teams like Troy and Arkansas State but losing games versus Idaho at home and getting obliterated by a winless team in Georgia Southern.

The offense for the Jaguars is led by Dallas Davis who has 1,292 yards through the air. RB Xavier Johnson leads the team in rushing with 445 yards and six touchdowns on 82 carries.

NCAA Football: South Alabama at Mississippi
Xavier Johnson (28) leads the Jaguars rushing attack.
Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

On the season, USA has been outscored in every quarter, most notably the third (71-43).

The defense hasn’t been much better, allowing 411.1 yards per game. They have been able to force 19 turnovers though and are led by Jeremy Reaves (97 tackles, three INTs, two FR).

Hopefully the players play hard, but not too hard because the Aggies need to win! They didn’t spoil USA’s bowl chances last season so it’s only fair the Jaguars do the same!


Prediction

It’ll be a close game but everyone will be partying Saturday night in Las Cruces. The bowl drought will see it’s last day!!!

NMSU 38, USA 25