TV Schedule: Saturday, Dec. 19, 1:00 p.m. ET, ESPN
Stadium: University Stadium (NM)
Line: Arizona (-10)
This one seems just a little bit unfair going in.
Here’s why: The New Mexico Bowl will be played at — as you can see above — University Stadium … which is where the New Mexico Lobos typically play their home games. Aren’t bowl games supposed to be played at a neutral field?
That is the one giant thing that the Lobos have going for them. Other than that, they are underdogs coming into this contest.
Before the season even started, the Arizona Wildcats were expected to compete for a Pac-12 title. Missing the memo certainly comes into play here (along with injuries), as Arizona finished with an overall record of 6-6 and a conference record of 3-6. The Wildcats did capture one monster win toward the end of 2015, though. Said monster win came against the Utah Utes, who were ranked No. 10 at the time.
Turning the ball over to New Mexico, they complied an overall record of 7-5 and a MW record of 5-3. It’s important to note that the Lobos enter bowl season with a lethal running game, as they averaged 246.6 rushing yards per contest (ranked No. 9 in college football).
Here’s one similar opponent these two squads played in 2015: The Arizona State Sun Devils. The Lobos lost that battle by the score of 34-10, while the Wildcats went down 52-37. Arizona did knock off Nevada, though, which is a team that took down New Mexico — for what it’s worth.
QB Anu Solomon is the key to Arizona on the offensive side of the ball. Meanwhile, New Mexico has three players who racked up 600 or more yards on the ground.
Arizona might have the .500 record, but it has been challenged more times thanks to it residing in the Pac-12.
Nonetheless, both of these teams are bowling!
PREDICTION: Wildcats 35, Lobos 21