The first day of college football bowl season is finally here, and it will feature six games throughout the course of the day.
In the 2018 New Mexico Bowl, Utah State will take on North Texas in the second bowl game of the postseason. The last time the Aggies won a bowl game was the 2014 New Mexico Bowl, and they will hope to break their two-bowl-game losing streak this year with another win in Albuquerque.
North Texas only has two bowl wins in the program's history, with one coming in 2002 and the other in 2013. The Mean Green are also on a two-bowl-game losing streak, which they will fight to break in one of their biggest bowl matchups yet.
Here's a look at the important information surrounding the game tomorrow, odds, a preview and predictions for the game.
New Mexico Bowl 2018
Date: Saturday, Dec. 15
Time (ET): 2:00 p.m.
Location: Dreamstyle Stadium, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Spread: Utah State (-7.5)
Odds via OddsShark
The Utah State Aggies and the North Texas Mean Green will duke it out in an evenly matched battle when they meet at the Dreamstyle Stadium.
Utah State played consistently throughout the season, going 10-2 with the only two losses coming at the beginning and end of the season.
The Aggies also fell to ranked opponents in both of those matchups. They opened the season against Michigan State, holding their own and only losing by seven points, 38-31. After climbing up through the rankings by putting up huge numbers on the scoreboard all season, then-No. 14 Utah State fell to then-No. 21 Boise State, ruining the former's shot at a Mountain West Title.
Aggies quarterback Jordan Love ended the season with veteran numbers during Utah State's 10-game winning streak. The sophomore threw for 3,208 yards and 28 touchdowns, boasting a completion percentage of 65.8.
However, the quarterback showed his age in his lack of consistency—in a string of games towards the end of the season, he alternated between averaging 100 or so yards and one touchdown to over 300 yards and three or more touchdowns.
Darwin Thompson leads the team on the ground with 951 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns, while senior Ron'quavion Tarver ranks first at wideout with 676 yards and seven touchdowns.
Similar to Utah State, North Texas was able to keep the majority of their opponents to low-scoring games. The first four games of the season saw the Mean Green scoring upwards of 40 points a game and opponents scoring from a low of seven points to a high of 23.
That being said, North Texas had three losses compared to the Aggies' two and faced a less-loaded schedule—they didn't take on any ranked teams throughout the regular season.
North Texas' quarterback boasts similar numbers to those of Love. With 3,734 passing yards, 27 passing touchdowns and a completion rate hovering just under 65 percent, junior Mason Fine only has one year on Love.
The Mean Green's top running back—DeAndre Torrey—has rushed for 942 yards and 14 touchdowns, making it seem as though he'll go head-to-head with Thompson. Receiver Rico Bussey Jr. has caught 12 touchdowns and 1,017 yards on 68 receptions, trumping Tarver's wideout stats.
Both teams seem to be evenly matched on the surface. They have quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers with similar stats. Both teams also haven't been totally consistent, with Love putting up inconsistent numbers towards the end of the season and North Texas not reliably putting points on the board.
However, the difference lies in their schedule intensity, and that could play a role on the outcome of the game.
While Utah State took on teams like Michigan State and Boise State, North Texas played teams like Arkansas, Liberty, Rice and Florida Atlantic, to name a few. While these schools have the ability to play quality football, they are not Top 25 teams and are not comparable to the likes of Michigan State.
That being said, with a slightly more experienced team and a quality connection between Fine at quarterback and Bussey at wideout, the Mean Green may have the ability to keep the game tight, However, in the end, the Aggies will come out on top thanks to their strong offense and even stronger defense.
Aggies 38, Mean Green 31