Date: Saturday, December 16th
Time: 5:45 PM ET
Location: University Stadium - Albuquerque, NM
Betting Line: New Mexico State -2.5
New Mexico State Aggies
2023 Record: 10-4
Form: Winners of eight of their last nine. Lost to Liberty in the CUSA Championship.
Key Players: QB Diego Pavia, WR/TE/QB Eli Stowers, DT Sterling Webb
The Story So Far: Jerry Kill has led one of the most impressive turnarounds in all of FBS. Since he became the head coach at NMSU prior to the 2022 season, the team has racked up program milestones, including their second consecutive bowl berth and just NMSU’s third since 1960.
Quarterback Diego Pavia was named CUSA Offensive Player of the Year. He’s one of eight players in college football to lead his team in both passing and rushing this season.
The Aggies are one of the more all-around teams in the G5 teams this season, with strong stretches of play when all three phases are hitting their marks. Kicker Ethan Albertson was CUSA Special Teams Player of the year and the scoring defense was second-best in the league.
Fresno State Bulldogs
2023 Record: 8-4
Form: Losers of their last three
Key Players: QB Mikey Keene, LB Levelle Bailey, DB Carlton Johnson
The Story So Far: Fresno Started the season as the hottest G5 team in the nation, reaching the AP Top 25. Some may remember in Week One when they beat Purdue on the road, then later shutting out Arizona State in Tempe.
Defensively, the Bulldogs have five players with multiple interceptions this season. As a team, they had 16 total - tied for fifth in FBS. Carlton Johnson alone had four.
Of note, Fresno State head coach Jeff Tedford has temporarily stepped away from the program due to health issues. Assistant head coach and linebackers coach Tim Skipper will be acting head coach for the bowl game.