Texas El Paso Miners (7-5) at Utah State Aggies (9-4)
|Date & Time||Saturday December 20, 2014, 2:20 PM (EST)|
The Line: Utah State Aggies -10.5 -- Over/Under: 49
The Utah State Aggies and UTEP Miners play Saturday in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl at University Stadium.
The Utah State Aggies have won five of their last six games and are playing in their fourth straight bowl. Kent Myers is completing 69.2 percent of his passes for five touchdowns and two interceptions. Myers has five total touchdowns and one pick in his last two games, and Utah State has 26 passing plays of 25 or more yards. Hunter Sharp and Ronald Butler have combined for more than 1,300 receiving yards and nine touchdowns while Devonte Robinson has seven of his 24 receptions in his last two games. Utah State’s ground game is averaging 4.8 yards per carry, as LaJuan Hunt leads the way with 524 rushing yards and a score. Defensively, the Utah State Aggies are allowing 20.8 points, 362.3 yards, and they’ve forced 47 sacks and 29 turnovers. Zach Vigil leads Utah State with 145 tackles and Nick Vigil has 16 tackles for loss.
The UTEP Miners have won five of their last seven games and are playing their first bowl since 2010. Jameill Showers is completing 55.7 percent of his passes for 12 touchdowns and five interceptions. Showers has three total touchdowns and zero picks in his last two games, and UTEP has 22 passing plays of 25 or more yards. Ian Hamilton and Aaron Jones have combined for more than 700 receiving yards and five touchdowns while Eric Tomlinson has six of his 18 catches in his last two games. UTEP’s ground game is averaging 4.9 yards per carry, as Jones leads the way with 1,233 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. Defensively, the UTEP Miners are allowing 28.7 points, 369.8 yards, and they’ve forced 21 sacks and 19 turnovers. Wesley Miller leads UTEP with 74 tackles and Alvin Jones has eight tackles for loss.
The Aggies are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games and 16-5 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Miners are 3-7 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
UTEP has a strong rushing attack and simply has to be thrilled playing in a bowl game for the first time in a few years. Sure, Utah State is the better team and should win SU, but this is too many points to lay for my taste. The Miners will make some plays on the ground and keep this thing close throughout. Take the double-digit points and call it a day.