New Mexico Bowl Preview
UTSA Roadrunners vs New Mexico Lobos
The first game of the 2016-17 bowl season features two of the nation’s top under-the-radar coaching jobs this year. UTSA is led by first-year coach Frank Wilson. He guided the Roadrunners to six wins and the first bowl appearance in program history. New Mexico is making its second consecutive New Mexico bowl trip and the eight wins recorded in 2016 are the highest for this program since 2007. Coach Bob Davie has helped this program take a step forward recently, increasing the win total in three consecutive seasons. The Lobos rank No. 1 nationally in rushing offense, but UTSA’s rush defense limits opponents to 4.4 yards per carry. When the Roadrunners are on offense, the one-two combination of Jarveon Williams and Jalen Rhodes at running back figures to test a New Mexico defense ranked third in the Mountain West against the run. (Play Now)
ABOUT UTSA (6-6, 5-3 C-USA)
In one of the biggest surprises of the season, the Roadrunners overcame a 1-3 start to earn a bowl ticket for the first time in program’s history. Their offense took them far enough to finish with a .500 record, which included 5 inner-conference victories. Despite getting a quite relatively easy schedule, they’ve managed to beat three bowl bound teams.
ABOUT NEW MEXICO (8-4, 6-2 MWC)
New Mexico’s running game is getting better and better under Davie, finishing first in the nation averaging 361 yards per game and roaring through the back half of the schedule. The offense makes up for a shaky defense, owning third downs, controlling the clock, and doing a great job of closing out drives with scores. The Lobos are on a six wins run during their final seven games. Now it just needs to come up with a few more passing yards.