The Arizona Wildcats (6-6) will take on the New Mexico Lobos (7-5) at University Stadium in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Kickoff for the Gildan New Mexico Bowl is scheduled for 2:00 PM EST on Saturday, December 19th and will be televised on ESPN. Our college football bowl betting lines have Arizona listed as a 10-point favorite with a total set at 63 points.
New Mexico’s key victory this season was a 31-24 victory over then No. 24 Boise State on the blue turf. It was the fifth loss for the Broncos at home since 1999 as the Lobos snapped a seven-game slide against Boise State. Sitting in the driver’s seat to win the Mountain Division championship, all the Lobos had to do was win out. New Mexico came out after the Boise State victory flat and lost at home 21-28 against Colorado State, thus eliminating them from contention.
Arizona’s key victory this season was upsetting then No. 10 ranked Utah in double overtime. Things seemed dismal two weeks prior when the Wildcats were drilled 3-49 at Washington, however with the victory over the Utes Arizona became bowl eligible. Head coach Rich Rodriguez should have his team fired up after losing the Territorial Cup to Arizona State at the end of the season.
Nikko’s Pick: Arizona -10
This play is contingent on the return of Anu Solomon, who missed the in-state rivalry game due to injury. His backup is Brandon Dawkins, and the drop-off is somewhat substantial. Solomon is currently listed as questionable, however with the extra rest it’s likely we’ll see the Las Vegas native in action.
Speaking of action, it appears standout linebacker Scooby Wright will be seeing the field one last time as a Wildcat. Wright was injured early in the season, and his loss drastically affected Arizona’s defense. If in fact Wright does return, expect the future NFL first rounder to go out in a blaze of glory.
Like I said, this play is based on these two key players coming back. If in fact Arizona is healthy, then the Wildcats should easily win this contest. Granted this is the Lobos backyard, however I expect the Arizona faithful to make the short trip to Albuquerque. Take Arizona minus the points in the New Mexico Bowl.