New Mexico Bowl: Who will win — and why

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The New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque will have two offenses that could light up the scoreboard but the defenses struggled. Key players will be absent from both teams when they meet on Saturday.

Here is a list of pre-bowl coverage stories:

Insider cougar predictions

Predict the outcome of the New Mexico Bowl game between BYU and SMU and explain your reasons.

Jay Drew: There’s been so much news going around BYU’s football program in the two weeks since the Cougars beat Stanford that it’s almost easy to forget there’s even a football game this Saturday. Because of this, and all the ramifications of it, I find it hard to believe that the Cougars will be ready to play in the New Mexico Bowl. Plus, BYU is very likely without starting QB Jaren Hall, who isn’t recovering quickly or all that well from the ankle injury he suffered against the Cardinals.

A little bit of study has also convinced me that SMU has one of the best offenses the Cougars will face this season. Keep in mind that BYU will be without a bunch of defensive starters, most notably Keenan Bailey tied for the gate, and I don’t see any way the Cougars can slow down the Mustangs offense. For these reasons, I see SMU winning fairly easily.

prediction: SMU 41, BYU 24

Dick Harmon: SMU’s offense is a real problem for the BYU defense in this game. On the other hand, BYU’s offense is problematic for the SMU defense, especially if Jaren Hall is cleared to play. Regardless of whether Hall plays, BYU’s game plan will likely be similar to Stanford’s — playing away from SMU with a physical running game.

Without a doubt, in the absence of Keenan Bailey and all the distractions that come with coaching changes, BYU has been uprooted. I can see that this is a real problem with this game. On the other hand, Isaac Rex said BYU’s defense had some of its best practices of the year prepping for the bowl game, and freshman DC Jay Hill has sparked a fire under the defense. This is hard to predict but I see how BYU played against USU and Boise State and I could see size on the lines could be an issue in BYU’s favor. But we’ve all seen BYU’s defense produce big yards against Liberty and East Carolina, and here’s the pitfall. I’ll try to be optimistic before Christmas here.

prediction: BYU34, SMU31

Cougar Tales

After losing to South Dakota State and Utah Valley, BYU men’s basketball found itself in a bad place. But the rally to defeat 21st-ranked Creighton in Las Vegas pumped energy into Mark Pope’s players, even if they blew an 11-point lead in the final three minutes. Jeff Cole chronicles that game in this piece. Call for more analysis to win here. Next up for the Cougars is Saturday’s showdown versus the improved Runnin’ Utes on Saturday in Provo.

from the archives

from Twitterverse

extra points

BYU gets its second defensive offense in days (Deseret News)

Texas, OU leaving the Big 12 early? (

Why Poppinga returned to BYU (Deseret News)


Comments from Deseret News readers:

College football feels like a train wreck these days. You play all season to get to a bowl game and then decide to get into a transfer portal so you won’t be there for it. why? Why can’t the transfer portal be postponed until January? Why were players set to announce before bowl games happened?

The fear of injuries affecting a shot in the NFL, I get it, we should all plan our futures, but players choosing not to play in bowl games makes bowl games irrelevant. It is very difficult to care about games that people do not want to play.

– 48 dirhams

I wasn’t a fan of Mendenhall. Lots of injuries and people in and out of the game blame fitness and strength. But with all that, it feels more together than managing Sitake who doesn’t know his left hand from his right foot about what’s going on. Doesn’t any HC know about nutrition, fitness, strength and conditioning? I’ve been bugging it for 30 years with BYU how out of shape and unprepared it is for my P5 weekly schedule. Oh next year is going to be ugly. Really ugly.

– Dmitry

next one

Dec 17 | 3 m | Women’s Basketball | v. Gonzaga | @ Spokane, WA

Dec 17 | 4 m | Men’s Basketball | vs. Utah | Provo

Dec 17 | 5:30 PM | football | New Mexico Ball | vs. SMU | @ Albuquerque, New Mexico

December 19 | 7 pm | Women’s Basketball | Portland vs. | @ Portland, Oregon

#Mexico #Bowl #win

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