Get to know this year’s New Mexico Bowl teams

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Bowl season is officially upon us as teams have been selected for the 16th annual PUBG MOBILE New Mexico Bowl. Competing for the 2021 clay pot trophy is the Fresno State Bulldogs and the University of Texas-El Paso Miners.

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Fresno State finished the regular season at 9-3 and second place in the Mountain West western division. The Bulldogs will bring an explosive offense to Albuquerque, averaging 33.6 points and 463.6 yards per game. The passing attack has been especially lethal for the Bulldogs in 2021, with 34 of the team’s 50 touchdowns coming through the air. Two New Mexican’s are on the Fresno State roster — TE Tre Watson from Rio Rancho and OL Jalen Guerrero from Las Cruces.

UTEP went 7-5 in its 2021 campaign, finishing 4th in the Conference USA western division. On offense, the team averaged 25.2 points and 391.5 yards per game. The Miners like to run the ball, averaging 143.6 yards on the ground to go along with 17 touchdowns. There are multiple players for UTEP with New Mexico connections — QB Gavin Hardison, FB Forest McKee and LS Connor Villalpando are all from the land of enchantment, while TE Zach Fryar most recently played at New Mexico Military Institute.

This will be the third New Mexico Bowl appearance for both teams. Fresno State has yet to win, and last made the postseason trip to Albuquerque in 2009, losing 28-35 against Wyoming. UTEP is also winless in the New Mexico Bowl, most recently losing 6-21 against Utah State in 2014.

The Bulldogs are seeking their first bowl victory since the 2018 Las Vegas Bowl and the Miners hope to get their first postseason win in over 50 years since the 1967 Sun Bowl. Kickoff is set for December 18 at 11:15 a.m. MT at University Stadium in Albuquerque and will be televised on ESPN.

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