Both teams have momentum and incentive to add another W to the season total.
For UTSA, the 6-6 Roadrunners are making their first bowl appearance. They’d love nothing more than to wrap up the 2016 season above .500.
On the other sideline, New Mexico has shown progress every season under Bob Davie.
UTSA vs. New Mexico, New Mexico Bowl game time, details
Time: 2 p.m. ET
Date: Saturday, Dec. 17
Location: University Stadium, Albuquerque, N.M.
Weather: High of 44, partly cloudy and windy
The line: New Mexico by 7.5 points
What channel is UTSA-New Mexico in the New Mexico Bowl on?
ESPN will televise the UTSA vs. New Mexico matchup.
How can I watch UTSA-New Mexico online in the New Mexico Bowl?
You can stream the game from WatchESPN.
How can I listen to UTSA-New Mexico on the radio in the New Mexico Bowl?
ESPN Radio and Sirius XM 80 will broadcast the New Mexico Bowl.
Who is calling the New Mexico Bowl for ESPN?
Adam Amin is handling play-by-play duties, Mack Brown is the analyst and Molly McGrath is the sideline reporter.
New Mexico Bowl, UTSA vs. New Mexico keys to the game
1. Run, run and run some more
The Lobos aren’t going to disguise their game plan. They’re going to run it. Teriyon Gipson had 1,209 yards and 12 touchdowns to lead New Mexico and Tyrone Owens was right behind with 1,084 yards and 7 scores. They’re the 1-2 punch that led the Lobos to 360.9 rushing yards per game, 30-plus yards more than any other team in the FBS.
2. Walking on new ground
This is the first time UTSA has qualified for a bowl game. That’s big news. On one hand, you wouldn’t fault Frank Wilson’s team for just getting there and chalking the outcome — win or lose — to experience and a program-building moment. The Roadrunners will lean on the RB duo of Jarveon Williams and Jade Rhodes as well as QB Dalton Sturm to get that first bowl victory.
3. Not so fast
It’s not like the Lobos have been making reservations every postseason, either. This is their 13th bowl appearance — the past four, including this one, in the New Mexico Bowl — and they’re just 3-9. Davie has had New Mexico on a gradual incline since taking over the program in 2012. After three losing seasons (he inherited a team coming off three consecutive 1-11 seasons) he won 7 games last season and could make it 9 with a win today — something New Mexico has done only four times since joining the WAC in 1962.