Texas El Paso vs.Utah State New Mexico Bowl - 12/20/14 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Texas El Paso Miners (7-5) at Utah State Aggies (9-4)
College Football: Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 2:20 pm (University Stadium)
The Line: Utah State Aggies -10 -- Over/Under: 46.5 See the Latest Odds
The MWC and CUSA collide in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl when the Utah State Aggies meet the Texas El Paso Miners.
The Utah State Aggies had another trying year at quarterback with star Chuckie Keeton going down for the second straight year with backup Darell Garretson gone with a wrist injury which left third string Kent Myers under center. Keeton threw for just over 400 yards with Garretson tossing for another 1,140 yards with Myers ending the season as the #1 with almost 800 yards. With the injuries at quarterback the Aggies relied more on the run with Lajuan Hunt, Jojo Natson and Joe Hill each totaling between 450-530 yards with Natson adding 457 yards in receptions. Hunter Sharp was almost twice as productive as any other receiver with 918 yards as the offense did a little of everything in scoring 28 points. Whatever this team did the defense led the way with just 362 yards and 21 points allowed with only 129 yards coming on the ground.
USA TODAY Sports
The Texas El Paso Miners got a win over Middle Tennessee State in the final game of the year to improve to 7-5 and solidify a Bowl invitation. The Miners looked improved and eventually proved it behind their run heavy offense and bend but don't break defense which gave 373 yards and 29 points. This group struggeled versus opposing rushing attacks with 171 yards allowed but were strong against the pass with just over 200 yards given up. Altogether the offense didn't look impressive with just 360 yards but this unit was ranked 33rd on the ground with 215 yards per game. Jameill Showers wasn't a strong passer with 1,732 yards at 55% but he generally protected the ball and wasn't a liability. The ground game was a two man show with Aaron Jones was the workhorse with 1,236 yards on 217 totes with Nathan Jeffery totaling 513 yards on 109 carries while Ian Hamilton was the top target in the air with 500 yards and almost 22 yard average.
You have to think if Texas El Paso can run then they not only cover but have a decent shot at winning outright. The problem with that scenario is Utah State specializes in stopping the run and I don't see the Miners winning through the air. The problem with Utah State is the availability of Garretson who just had wrist surgery and is questionable. I am leaning to the Aggies but obviously want Garretson under center and if he doesn't play I'd epect the line to drop below double figures so I'll check on the injuries and make changes by Friday...