New Mexico Bowl Preview
Opening Line: New Mexico -7
Time: 2 PM EST Saturday December 17, 2016
New Mexico Lobos (8-4) vs. Texas San Antonio Roadrunners (6-6)
New Mexico had a much better record than UTSA and they played in a much tougher conference and they are a seven-point favorite in this New Mexico Bowl. Hard to believe they are not a bigger favorite since this “neutral site” game is being played at the Lobos home stadium. New Mexico finished the season strong winning six of their last seven games. The Lobos are all about the run, as they rank 1st in the nation in rushing yards per game, but 2nd to last in passing yards per game.
The Lobos played in the New Mexico Bowl last season where they lost to Arizona 45-37
UTSA is making their first bowl appearance in the six-year history of the program. They met the Lobos back in the 2014 season where the Roadrunners lost 21-9. While they lost all three of their games this season facing teams from major conferences they were pretty close and in their 2nd to last game of the season they lost to a ranked Texas A&M team 23-10 on the road. The Roadrunners had lost two in a row before winning their last game, which made them bowl eligible.
This season New Mexico is 6-6 ATS with an O/U record of 10-2 and Texas San Antonio is 6-6 ATS with an O/U record of 6-6.
In their last games New Mexico beat Wyoming 56-35 and Texas San Antonio beat Charlotte 33-14.
In their win over Wyoming in their season finale New Mexico racked up 690 yards with 568 of them coming on the ground. The Lobos had two RB’s this season that rushed for over 1,080 yards in Teriyon Gipson (1,209 yards 12 TD) and Tyrone Owens (1,084 yards 7 TD). Both of these backs averaged more than eight yards per carry on the season and Gipson rushed for a career best 217 yards in the win over Wyoming.
It is pretty obvious that the UTSA run defense will be vital for them in this bowl game and on the season they ranked 52nd in the nation in that category giving up an average of 157.8 rushing yards per game.
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UTSA does not have a dynamic offense, but it is a pretty balanced one ranking 76th in the nation in passing yards per game and 91st in rushing yards per game. QB Dalton Sturm passed for 2,052 yards with 18 TD and only five INT and he played well in the season finale against Charlotte passing for 286 yards with two TD and 0 INT. The Roadrunners have two RB that have over 750 rushing yards in Jarveon Williams and Jalen Rhodes.
New Mexico ranks 71st in the nation in pass defense and 61st in run defense.
New Mexico vs. UTSA Betting Trends
- New Mexico is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall, 2-6 ATS in their last 8 vs. CUSA, and they have an Over record of 12-2 in their last 14 games.
- UTSA is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall, 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up win, and they have an Under record of 11-5 in their last 16 games following a ATS win.
New Mexico Lobos vs. Texas San Antonio Roadrunners Prediction
UTSA had a difficult schedule which was the key reason for their 6-6 season, but it’s not like New Mexico was playing a bunch of cupcakes. The Lobos were one of the top clubs in the in the Mountain West over the last half of the season ending their regular season with a blowout win over Wyoming. This is a home game for New Mexico and that should give them all the motivation they need to keep to task and get the cover.
Take New Mexico -7