Utah State headed to Arizona Bowl against New Mexico State

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LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Utah State is going back to a bowl game.

The Aggies accepted a bid to the Arizona Bowl where they will face New Mexico State on Friday, Dec. 29, at 3:30 p.m. (MT) at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Ariz. 

Utah State and New Mexico State have a history in bowl games, as NMSU posted a 20-13 win against Utah State in the 1960 Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. Ironically, that was the last bowl game NMSU had appeared in prior to this season.

As for Utah State, it played in five-straight bowl games from 2011-15 and won three-straight bowls from 2012-14, both of which are school records. All-time, USU is 4-7 in its 11 bowl games and this marks the first repeat opponent for Utah State in a bowl game.

Utah State also has a history with the Sun Belt Conference, as it was a football-only member of the league for two seasons from 2003-04.

“We are extremely excited to accept the invitation to represent Utah State University and the Mountain West in the 2017 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl,” said fifth-year Utah State head coach Matt Wells. “This bowl game is a great reward for our team and its accomplishments this year, and solidifies the strength and consistency of this program as we will be playing in our sixth bowl game in the past seven years.”

All-time, this will be Utah State’s 12th bowl appearance in program history as it played in the 1946 Raisin Bowl, the 1947 Grape Bowl, the 1960 Sun Bowl, the 1961 Gotham Bowl, the 1993 Las Vegas Bowl, the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl, the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the 2013 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, the 2014 Gildan New Mexico Bowl and the 2015 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

New Mexico State is 6-6 on the season and finished tied for fifth place in the Sun Belt Conference with a 4-4 record after winning three of its final four games, including a 22-17 home win against South Alabama in its regular-season finale on Dec. 2. All-time, NMSU is 2-0-1 in bowl games (1936, 1959, 1960).

“We are excited to prepare for a quality New Mexico State team that had an outstanding season. Our staff has great respect for New Mexico State head coach Doug Martin and the entire team with the success they had this season,” added Wells.

Utah State is 58-30 all-time against current members of the Sun Belt Conference, which includes a 30-7 record against New Mexico State, a 20-17-2 record against Idaho, a 4-3 record against Arkansas State, a 1-1 record versus Louisiana, a 1-2 record against both Louisiana-Monroe and Troy, and a 1-0 record against Texas State. USU has never faced Sun Belt members Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State or South Alabama.

New Mexico State’s last bowl bid came in 1960 against Utah State in the Sun Bowl, a game won by NMSU, 20-13.

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