NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Gavin Hardison returned to a state that he is very familiar with. The UTEP Miners red shirt sophomore quarterback and the rest of the team touched down in Albuquerque, New Mexico Wednesday.

Hardison is from Hobbs, New Mexico, and has hopes of leading his team to a New Mexico Bowl victory against Fresno State Saturday. “I mean, it feels good. It’s a cool experience to come back here in my home state and come back here to compete in a bowl game with my team, said Hardison.

“Just bring a bowl win back to El Paso is a big thing for us and obviously, it hasn’t happened in a long time. So, that’s a big goal for us to accomplish this year.” The last time the Miners won a bowl game was back in 1967 against Ole Miss.

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The Miners have a 5-9 bowl record and have lost the last six. As a Hobbs Eagle in high school, Hardison was known for letting the ball rip. Hardison passed for 8,678 yards with 93 touchdowns in his Eagles career, averaging over 377 yards per game. He played five games at New Mexico Military Institute before coming over to UTEP as a sophomore.

This season, Hardison averaged over 247 passing yards per game with 2,965 total passing yards and 17 touchdowns. The Miners will go into Saturday’s game with a 7-5 record after having won only one game in it’s last five outings.