Utah State to face North Texas in New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 15

Utah State safety Jontrell Rocquemore (3) is congratulated by teammates Gaje Ferguson (23) and Adewale Adeoye (55) after running an interception back for a touchdown against Colorado State during the second half of an NCAA football game Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, in Fort Collins, Colo. Utah State won, 29-24. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

The Utah State Aggies might have lost their coach, but thanks to a 10-win season, they’re still going to a bowl game.

The Aggies will play North Texas in the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 15, the bowl announced Sunday. Kickoff will be 2 p.m. MST.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our program," Aggies interim coach Frank Maile said in a news release. "It is a fantastic reward for all of the hard work and dedication that our players have put in, from all the offseason workouts, to watching film to the practice field. I am so happy for them. We are excited to represent Utah State University, Cache Valley and Aggie Nation at the New Mexico Bowl.”

Utah State finished the 2018 regular season 10-2, including a 7-1 record in the Mountain West Conference. It lost to Boise State in the Mountain Division championship game, knocking it out of a chance at the Las Vegas Bowl, where the MW champion traditionally plays.


At Albuquerque, N.M.

Utah State vs. North Texas, Dec. 15, Noon


North Texas finished the season 9-3 overall, and second in the West division of Conference USA at 5-3. It’s the third consecutive bowl game for the Mean Green, who lost to Troy in last year’s New Orleans Bowl.

The last time USU played in the New Mexico Bowl was in 2014, when it beat UTEP in Matt Wells' second year as head coach. That game was Utah State’s most recent bowl win.

The Aggies qualified for a bowl game this season for the seventh time in the last eight years. Last year, the Aggies played in the Arizona Bowl against New Mexico State and lost.

“I’m excited for our student-athletes to experience another bowl game and we look forward to the hospitality of Albuquerque," USU Vice President and Director of Athletics John Hartwell said in the release.

Utah State is entering the New Mexico Bowl in a state of flux. Matt Wells, who coached the Aggies in their last four bowl games, resigned last week to take the job Texas Tech. Maile was named as interim coach and will lead USU in bowl preparation.

Wells won’t coach the bowl game, but USU has indicated he will be involved, along with his departing coordinators, at some level as the Aggies get ready to face the Mean Green.

Utah State on Sunday was ranked 23rd in the Amway Coaches’ Poll and 27th in the Associated Press poll. Before losing to Boise State, the Aggies were ranked 14th by the AP.

The bowl game will be played at Dreamstyle Stadium in Albuquerque, New Mexico, home of the New Mexico Lobos.