New Mexico Bowl 2013: Full Preview for Washington State vs. Colorado State

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New Mexico Bowl 2013: Full Preview for Washington State vs. Colorado State
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Washington State and Colorado State will face off in the 2013 New Mexico Bowl, which is the first of 35 bowl games in a 17-day stretch. The big game will take place at University Stadium in Albuquerque, N.M., with the kickoff slated for 2 p.m. ET. 

This will be the first time these two teams have ever faced one another. 

The Cougars made it to the postseason for the first time in 10 years, posting a record of 6-6—just barely bowl eligible. Thanks to the leadership of second-year head coach Mike Leach, Washington State is becoming a viable program once again. 

The job Jim McElwain has done at Colorado State is no less impressive. Like Leach, he's gotten his program invited to a bowl game with at 7-6 record in just his second year, and the Rams haven't been to a postseason game since 2008. 

Needless to say, this is a big game for both burgeoning programs. 

Here's a look at when and where you can catch the upcoming contest, along with injury reports for both teams, and more. 

 

When: Saturday, Dec. 21, at 2 p.m. ET

Where: University Stadium, Albuquerque, N.M.

Watch: ESPN

Live Stream: Watch ESPN

Betting Lines (via Covers) 

  • Over/Under: 66 points
  • Spread: Colorado State (+4.5)

 

Team Injury Reports (via USA Today)

Colorado State
Player Pos. Status/Updated
Austin Berk DE Ques Sat - Hip - 12/15/13
Davon Riddick RB Ques Sat - Ankle - 12/15/13
Cory James LB Ques Sat - Undisclosed - 12/15/13
Zack Golditch OL Out for season - Knee - 10/30/13
Josh Lovingood DL Out for season - Foot - 10/19/13
Kevin Davis LB Out for season - Knee - 10/17/13
Washington State
Player Pos. Status/Updated
Jacob Seydel OL Ques Sat - Leg - 12/15/13
Chester Su'a LB Ques Sat - Disciplinary - 12/15/13
Emmitt Su'a-Kalio DL Ques Sat - Leg - 12/15/13
Alex Jackson CB Out indefinitely - Suspension - 12/10/13
Darius Lemora S Out indefinitely - Foot - 12/10/13

USA Today

 

Can the Rams Stymie Connor Halliday?

Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Colorado State knows what to expect from Washington State junior quarterback Connor Halliday, who led the nation's No. 4-ranked passing offense in 2013. 

“I know they throw the heck out of it. I know (Leach) isn’t afraid to throw it and he’ll probably throw it coming off the bus,” McElwain told reporters in a recent interview, as noted by the Associated Press (via The Washington Post). 

This isn't an opponent Colorado State is equipped to handle. 

The Rams come into the game with the nation's No. 109-ranked passing defense, having allowed 265.4 passing yards per game and an astonishing 27 touchdowns through the air.

Halliday finished the 2013 season as the nation's fourth-ranked passer, throwing for 4,187 yards with 28 touchdowns. He's a formidable quarterback who isn't afraid to fit the ball into tight spaces, and he's going to be the main source of offense for the Cougars. 

If Colorado State's secondary performs like it did throughout the season, then the Rams will lose.

 

Prediction

Halliday isn't the only offensive weapon to keep your eye on in this game, according to Chris Johnson of SI.com:

[Kapri] Bibbs. One of the most underappreciated offensive threats in the country, the 5-foot-11, 203-pounder notched at least three scores in seven of his final nine regular-season games. The last time he played at University Stadium in Albuquerque, N.M., Bibbs rushed for 291 yards and six touchdowns in a 66-42 win over the Lobos on Nov. 16...he will likely be the focal point of coach Jim McElwain's offensive game plan.

Who you got?

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The Cougars don't feature a strong run defense, allowing 185 yards on average and 22 total touchdowns.

Though the two teams feature different approaches to offense, they both have the ability to put up points in bunches. Furthermore, both feature poor defenses that will struggle to contest those efforts. 

But who doesn't love a shootout?

This one should feature plenty of scoring, so if offensive fireworks are your cup of tea, you'll find plenty of enjoyment watching this game.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Final Score 

Washington State wins, 45-41.

 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78 

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