The third NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl will be an all-Aggies game with a historical twist.
New Mexico State will make its first postseason appearance since 1960 when it takes on Utah State in the Arizona Bowl, played Dec. 29 at Arizona Stadium. Their opponent in that game 57 years ago? The same Utah State program that the Aggies will play in Tucson. The 3 p.m. game will be shown nationally on CBS Sports Network.
Heaven rewards those who wait: Aggies v Aggies in Arizona Bowl III, Utah State v. New Mexico State. Rematch of 1960 Sun Bowl, which is NMSU's last bowl game, believe it or not— Greg Hansen (@ghansen711) December 3, 2017
New Mexico State (6-6) punched its ticket to the postseason in dramatic fashion, beating South Alabama Saturday behind a touchdown with less than 30 seconds left on Saturday. NMSU opened its season with a loss at Arizona State but caught fire in Sun Belt Conference play, winning three of its final four regular-season games. Six of coach Matt Wells' players earned all-conference honors.
The first-ever Arizona Bowl, held in 2015, pitted Colorado State against Nevada in a battle of two Mountain West teams, with the Wolf Pack prevailing. Air Force topped South Alabama last year.
Utah State — also the Aggies — went 6-6 overall and 4-4 in Mountain West Conference play. Utah State opened its season with a loss at powerhouse Wisconsin, beat rival BYU and became bowl eligible with wins at New Mexico and over Hawaii. Coach Matt Wells' team features six all-conference players.