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New Mexico Bowl: Preview, Predictions, TV info

By J. Darin Darst | Staff Writer

What: Gildan New Mexico Bowl

Who: Colorado State (7-6, 5-3 Mountain West) vs. Washington State (6-6, 4-5 Pac-12)

When: Saturday, Dec. 21, 2 pm ET (ESPN)

Where: University Stadium (37,457), Albuquerque, N. Mex.

Opening Line: Washington State -4

What matters: The first bowl game of the year, so this will be the start of all the madness. Colorado State hasn't been to a bowl game since 2008 and this will be a great opportunity for it to showcase Kapri Bibbs, who leads the nation with 28 TDs. Washington State isn't familiar with bowl games either since it hasn't played in one since 2003. This could be the start of something positive for a team that has been the bottom feeder of the Pac-12 the past decade.

Who matters: It's all about Bibbs. The Colorado State sophomore not only leads the nation with 28 rushing touchdowns, but is also sixth with 1,572 rushing yards. He struggled a bit in his final two games, but has the ability to blow up at any moment, as shown by his 312 yards rushing against Nevada and 291 yards against New Mexico. Washington State's Connor Halliday will sling it around in the Cougars' passing offense as shown by his 4,187 yards passing. He does has 28 touchdowns, but also 21 interceptions.

Matchup question: Colorado State's pass defense ranks 111th in the nation and will be going toe-to-toe with the nation's fourth-ranked passing attack. So how will the Rams stop them? Not sure they can, but Shaquil Barrett (12 sacks) will have to get pressure on Halliday.

Prediction: Don't expect much defense in this game as both teams should be able to march up and down the field. Washington State 42, Colorado State 31

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