USU Athletics and Associated Press photos
Two of the key players to watch in the Arizona Bowl include Utah State cornerback Jalen Davis, left, and New Mexico State wide receiver Jaleel Scott.

The basics

Arizona Bowl: Utah State (6-6) vs. New Mexico State (6-6)

Kickoff: Friday, 3:30 p.m. (Mountain)

Arizona Stadium (55,675), Tucson, Arizona


TV: CBS Sports Network

Livestream: WatchESPN

Radio: 1280 AM

Series: Utah State leads 30-7

Weather: Sunny, temperatures in the 80s

The stakes

For Utah State … The Aggies hope to avenge a 20-12 loss to New Mexico State in the 1960 Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.

For New Mexico State ... The southern Aggies are trying to finish the season with a winning record for the first time since going 7-5 in 2002.

The crystal ball

For Utah State … The northern Aggies will prevail if they get rolling early and don’t let up. Utah State lost both close games (vs. Wyoming, at Air Force) it played in this year, while NMSU is coming off a confidence-building late rally against South Alabama.

For New Mexico State ... The southern Aggies’ defense has a knack for coming up with big plays and lead the Sun Belt in interceptions (20) while coming up second in sacks (41) heading into Friday’s game.

Player to watch

Jaleel Scott, New Mexico State wide receiver: The 6-foot-6 senior was a first-team All-Sun Belt selection after leading the conference with 73 receptions and eight touchdowns, and is 18th in the nation with 1,042 receiving yards.

Key matchup

UTAH STATE’S PASS DEFENSE VS. NMSU’S PASSING OFFENSE: Led by All-American cornerback Jalen Davis, the northern Aggies are third in the Mountain West in pass defense (181.8 ypg), while the southern Aggies lead the Sun Belt in passing yardage (352.6 ypg).


"You have talented wideouts, talented quarterbacks and talented running backs, so there could be a lot of points on the scoreboard.”

— Utah State coach Matt Wells

“Utah State is a good football program that has been in bowl games. They are used to this. Our players aren't. We have to do a good job preparing our guys."

— New Mexico State coach Doug Martin

Next up

Utah State kicks off the 2018 season at Michigan State on Sept. 1. New Mexico State will open the season at home against Wyoming on Aug. 25. Utah State and NMSU will also play each other in Logan on Sept. 18, 2018.

Utah State schedule

Sept. 1 — at Wisconsin, Lost 59-10

Sept. 7 — IDAHO STATE, Won 51-13

Sept. 16 — at Wake Forest, Lost 46-10

Sept. 23 — at San Jose State, Won 61-10

Sept. 29 — BYU, Won 40-24

Oct. 7 — COLORADO STATE, Lost 27-14

Oct. 14 — WYOMING, Won 28-23

Oct. 21 — at UNLV, Won 52-28

Oct. 28 — BOISE STATE, Lost 41-14

Nov. 4 — at New Mexico, Won 24-10

Nov. 18 — HAWAII, Won 38-0

Nov. 25 — at Air Force, Lost 38-35