Pac-12 Bowl Preview Part 1: New Mexico-Heart of Dallas Bowl


On Sunday ten Pac-12 teams found out where their postseason destinations would be with only Colorado and Oregon State’s seasons ending. We’re going to break it down into two articles where we’ll look at where each team is playing and who they’re facing.

More from Autzen Zoo

December 19
Gildan New Mexico Bowl (University Stadium/Albuquerque, NM): Arizona Wildcats (6-6) v. New Mexico Lobos/Mountain West (7-5), 11 am/ESPN

Rich Rodriguez’s team seemed to go downhill after UCLA knocked them off in Tucson they never seemed to recover after that. Anu Solomon had a nice season throwing for 2,338 and 18 touchdowns but his Wildcats never found consistency after early success. Bob Davie and New Mexico continue to improve since he arrived and the Lobos have improved each season. They’ll host the game at their stadium, UNM runs a option based offense so keep an eye on Jhurell Pressley who rushed for 846 yards and 11 touchdowns. This game will be a contrast in styles which will make for a fun game to watch.

Nov 14, 2015; Tucson, AZ, USA; Utah Utes running back Devontae Booker (23) runs the ball against the Arizona Wildcats during the first quarter at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl (Sam Boyd Stadium/Las Vegas, NV): 22 Utah Utes (9-3) v. BYU Cougars/Independent (9-3), 12:30 pm/ABC

No one seemed to want Kyle Wittingham’s Utes this bowl season as they fell to the Las Vegas Bowl where they’ll wage a Holy War against in-state rival BYU. Wittingham who’s a Cougars alumnus leads his team against Bronco Mendenhall who’ll coach his last game at the school before heading to Virginia. Devontae Booker won’t play in this game as he suffered a knee injury. Tanner Mangum is the BYU QB who started off with big wins to open this season will oppose Travis Wilson. Rarely do we get rivalry games in bowls but this one will which adds to the intrigue.

December 26
Hyundai Sun bowl (Sun Bowl Stadium/El Paso, Texas): Washington State Cougars (8-4) v. Miami (FL) Hurricanes/ACC (8-4), 11 am/CBS
This could be a real fun match-up of 8-4 teams with Mike Leach passing offense against the athleticism of Miami. Luke Falk has been sensational this season 4,266 while tossing 36 TD’s, which is the norm for Leach’s QB’s but will he be healthy to play? His primary target was Gabe Marks who was over 1,000 yards with 14 receiving touchdowns. It’s been a fun season for the fans in Pullman where the Canes have a good quarterback they have an entertaining running back in Joseph Yearby who just missed on a 1,000 yard season (939) with six TD’s. This game could be high scoring which will be fun to watch.

Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Cotton Bowl/Dallas, TX): Washington Huskies (6-6) v. Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles/CUSA (9-4), 11:20 am/ESPN
Chris Peterson’s team is coming off a victory in the Apple Cup where they convincingly won to get bowl eligible. Myles Gaskin ran for 1,121 yards with 10 scores to pace the Huskies offense. Southern Mississippi might not be known in these parts but after being winless like Washington was not too long ago, they just played for the CUSA championship. Nick Mullens passed for 4,145 with 36 passing touchdowns in their high powered offense. Can Washington slow down Southern Miss?

Nov 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of the line of scrimmage during an NCAA football game between the UCLA Bruins and the Southern California Trojans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Foster Farms Bowl (Levi Stadium/Santa Clara, CA): UCLA Bruins (8-4) v. Nebraska Cornhuskers/Big Ten (5-7), 6:15 pm/ESPN
Jim Mora’s team lost to Southern California which kept his team out of the PAC-12 title game but his Bruins will still get a chance to play at the site of that game. How motivated will his team be as they face a team that got in based on their APR score. Josh Rosen was over 2,000 yards passing while tossing 20 touchdowns in his freshman season. Former Oregon State head coach Mike Riley will guide a 5-7 Nebraska team which handed Michigan State their lone loss, the Huskers have several close defeats this season. Since 2012 this will be the third match-up between these teams with UCLA winning in Pasadena and Lincoln can they make it a perfect 3-0?

Next: Oregon Ducks Show Off New Uniforms For Alamo Bowl

The remainder of the Bowl Season for the Pac-12 Conference will be broken down in the coming days. Of course, the Oregon Ducks will face TCU in the Alamo Bowl on January 2nd. Kickoff is set for 3:45pm Pacific Time on ESPN.