NMSU selected for Quick Lane Bowl; first bowl appearance since 2017


Carlos Herrera

The NMSU football team run out of the tunnel for the start of their game against FIU at Aggie Memorial Stadium on Oct. 1, 2022.

Just when New Mexico State thought its football season was over, a spark came.

That spark was the Aggies (6-6) winning four of their last five games to close out the 2022 regular season and punching their ticket to their fifth bowl appearance in program history at the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit. NMSU will play Bowling Green (6-6) which marks the first meeting between the two universities.

“At the beginning (of the season) I didn’t think we would be where we’re at,” head coach Jerry Kill said after Saturday’s game against Valparaiso. “We’ve gotten better each week. We’ve had some guys step up and were playing pretty fast.”

In Kill’s first year as NMSU’s head coach, he’ll look towards winning his first bowl game as a FBS head coach when the Aggies face the Falcons on Dec. 26 at Ford Field. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. MT on ESPN.

“This is a quality bowl, we are taking a Big 10 slot on ESPN,” NMSU athletic director Mario Moccia said on Saturday. “A lot of people also say it would be great if it was just down the street like it was in Tucson (Arizona Bowl in 2017).”


NMSU’s quarterback Diego Pavia scrambles and looks to past in Saturday’s game against Lamar at Aggie Memorial Stadium, taken on Nov. 12, 2022. (Carlos Herrera)

Starting off the season (0-4) NMSU looked as if there wasn’t much hope for postseason play, but wins over New Mexico and Hawaii gave that boost of confidence the team needed.

Arguably NMSU’s biggest win of the season so far came against Liberty upsetting the Flames in Virginia which helped their resume and the slot themselves in the postseason. This end of the season turnaround helped claim their spot in a bowl game for since 2017 where they played in the Arizona Bowl defeating Utah State.

“It was pretty rough towards the beginning of the season,” senior linebacker Trevor Brohard said Saturday. “Its really hard to hold faith and keep that confidence in the team. I didn’t break confidence. … I had no dought that it (a bowl game) was gonna happen.”

The Aggies will look to their main producer on offense junior quarterback Diego Pavia who has been dominate towards the end of the season, picking up accolades such as CFPA National Performer of the Week, Latino College Football Player of the Week and Manning Award Quarterback of the Week honors.

NMSU is taking a Big Ten conference spot in the bowl game playing Mid-American Conference Bowling Green who finished (5-3) in the MAC.

“I guess you could say we’re farther ahead this year than I ever thought we would be,” Kill said.

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