ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The field is set for the 11th annual Gildan New Mexico Bowl with the UTSA Roadrunners and the New Mexico Lobos accepting invitations offered today. The game, slated for Saturday, Dec. 17 at Noon MT/2 p.m. ET, pits the Conference USA member against the Mountain West member, in the first FBS bowl game of the season on ESPN and ESPN Radio.
“We are very happy to put together a matchup which should provide another tremendous game to open the FBS bowl season in Albuquerque,” said Jeff Siembieda, Gildan New Mexico Bowl Executive Director. “The Roadrunners and Lobos are two exciting, talented teams who are playing really well. This is going to be a great time.”
UTSA (6-6, 5-3 C-USA), is eligible for the first time in program’s brief six-year history. The Roadrunners won seven games back in 2013, but they were in the final year of reclassifying to the Football Bowl Subdivision and not eligible to play in the postseason. This season, UTSA won five of its last eight to finish second in Conference USA’s West Division.
“The Gildan New Mexico Bowl is proud to host the Roadrunners and UTSA fans for their first ever bowl game,” Siembieda said. “There is a genuine, special excitement around this program and there should be. UTSA is a good, fun football team and we look forward to having them in Albuquerque.”
New Mexico (8-4, 6-2 MW), is bowl-eligible for second straight year after claiming a piece of the Mountain West Mountain Division title. It is the fourth appearance in a bowl at University Stadium for the Lobos, having lost the inaugural New Mexico Bowl to San Jose State in 2006, won the 2007 game over Nevada, and lost last year to Arizona.
“We are happy to welcome the Lobos back,” Siembieda said. “UNM has had a special year. Riding the momentum of a second straight year of bowl eligibility and a co-division championship, the Lobos are a program that is rising and we are thrilled to be able to showcase them in our event.”
These two programs are no strangers, splitting a home-and-home series in 2013 and 2014. UTSA won the first meeting (Aug. 31, 2013) in Albuquerque, 21-13, but New Mexico won the last contest, 21-9, in San Antonio in the Alamodome (Oct. 4, 2014).
The Gildan New Mexico Bowl is one of 13 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN.
Tickets, which are on sale now, range from $25-40 and can be purchased at the University of New Mexico ticket office, located in The Pit, online at www.unmtickets.com, or by calling 505-925-LOBO.