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Will Bulldogs Be More Than Just Happy at NM Bowl?
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 2 years ago on
December 17, 2021

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The head coaches for Fresno State and Texas-El Paso both say they are happy to be playing at the New Mexico Bowl.

“The excitement in the program right now is electric,” Fresno State interim coach Lee Marks said on Monday. “We’re extremely appreciative to be in this position.”

“It’s a celebration of the season and an opportunity for us to do something really special as a football team that hasn’t been done around here in a long time,” 600 ESPN El Paso’s Adrian Broaddus reported UTEP head coach Dana Dimel telling the El Paso media a few weeks ago.

Such is the saturation of  “Bowl Season” which kicks off 42 games Friday afternoon with the Bahamas Bowl.

Saturday Morning Kickoff

On Saturday morning, the Bulldogs take to the field in Albuquerque to face UTEP in one of seven televised bowl games on that day.

Former Bulldog head coach Pat Hill used to justify playing in such marginal games, saying at least they have the college football television window to themselves.

The New Mexico Bowl should have that exclusive window for about 75 minutes, with an 11:15 a.m. (PT) kickoff.

Fresno State interim coach Lee Marks won’t reveal his starting quarterback — (L to R) Jaylen Henderson, Jake Haener or Logan Fife — until game time. (GV Wire File)

QB a Mystery, Offense is Not

While Marks won’t reveal his starting quarterback — Jake Haener or freshmen Jaylen Henderson or Logan Fife — until game time, the remainder of the offense is no mystery.

The running game will consist of Ronnie Rivers and Jordan Mims; Jalen Cropper, Josh Kelly and Keric Wheatfall will be the main wide receivers.

The Bulldogs led the Mountain West conference with 436 yard per game on offense.

About the Miners

The Miners started the season 6-1, including four straight. They limped to the finish, losing four of the last five since. Perhaps the most impressive victory was a 28-21 fourth-quarter comeback against bowl-bound Old Dominion.

The most dynamic player in the Miners offense is wide receiver Jacob Cowing, an all-Conference USA selection. He ranked sixth in the nation with 1,330 receiving yards.

He will be catching passes from quarterback Gavin Hardison a 56% passer, with 2,966 yards and 17 TD.

UTEP finished fourth in the Conference USA west division. They haven’t won a bowl game since 1967. At least Miners fans will have an easier time traveling to the bowl game. El Paso is only four hours south of Albuquerque.

Game Facts

Game: Fresno State (9-3) vs. UTEP (7-5) in the New Mexico Bowl

Location: University Stadium, Albuquerque, NM

Date/time: Saturday, December 18 at 11:15 a.m. (Pacific Time)

TV Network: ESPN

Weather: Cold but dry. The forecast predicts 46 degrees for Saturday, but no rain nor snow.

Announcers: John Schriffen & Rene Ingoglia; sideline: Stormy Buonantony

Local radio: 1430 AM Fox Sports Radio: Paul Loeffler & Pat Hill; sideline: Cam Worrell

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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