Arizona Bowl Prediction: Utah State vs. New Mexico State

Last Updated: 2017-12-29

arizona bowl free pickA bit of a stinker in the fourth game of the day on Friday, as a pair of 6-6 teams battle it out in the Arizona Bowl, with New Mexico State and Utah State facing off. Utah State is favored by 4.5 and the total has climbed to 63.5 after opening at 61.

New Mexico State hasn’t been to a bowl game since 1960 and will obviously be happy to be here. Whether that translates into a good effort or not is always a big question mark. The team might be content to have broken the bowl-less streak and forget to show up or they could turn it into a positive and play an inspired game.

One thing New Mexico State is going to do is throw the ball plenty, as they average 49 pass attempts per game and 27 rushing attempts. The Aggies don’t really run the ball, which likely has quite a bit to do with that, as they throw some safer passes, which effectively acts as run. While the Aggies complete 62.7% of their passes against teams who allow 60% completions, they do gain .5 fewer yards per attempt than their opponents allowed.

On defense, New Mexico State allowed 5.3 more points than their opponents averaged, so definitely a bit below average with their stop unit, although they weren’t all that bad at defending the run, allowing 4.2 yards per carry to teams who averaged 4.2 yards.

Utah State runs a few more times than they throw per game, rushing 37 times and passes 33 times a game, while being a pretty average rushing team and passing team. Still, they did score 2.4 more points per game than foes allowed and and allowed .6 more points on defense, so the other Aggies are a little better than average on offense and pretty much an average defensive squad.

Utah State also has a decent special teams advantage, which could come into play in this one, although the game is a bit closer for New Mexico State fans to make the trip.

Utah State has the bowl game experience in their favor, although as mentioned above, that may or may not be a positive when all is said and done in this one.

A lot of uncertainty regarding emotion in this one, so will have to take the over in this one and hope the teams put on an entertaining show for the fans who do come to the game.

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