As bowl season continues, the day after Christmas New Mexico State will play against Bowling Green. For both teams, a bowl game was a distant dream considering how each team started the season. As the teams fought hard in the second half of the year, that dream turned into a reality. Now the Falcons and Aggies will battle to end the season with a seventh win.
The Road Here
Each team had a crazy road to the Quick Lane Bowl, to say the least. For New Mexico State the first four games were straight from a horror movie. The Aggies fell in all four of their first four games to move to 0-4 to start the season. In three of the four games, the team was even beaten by double digits including a loss to Minnesota where they were shut out. Furthermore, the Aggies couldn’t get much worse than they were after week four.
Entering week five, New Mexico State flipped a switch. The Aggies changed their gameplay big time and ended the season on a 6-2 tear. In their last eight games, they even had an impressive win over Liberty beating them by 20+ points. New Mexico State had trouble playing defense in their first four games, but after week four the defense started to show that they were way better than people might’ve thought.
As for Bowling Green, the start of the season wasn’t what they were hoping for either. The Falcons started 1-3 in their first four games. In this stretch, Bowling Green had even fallen to Eastern Kentucky in a seven-overtime finish. Furthermore, just like New Mexico State, the Falcons found themselves in a big hole to begin the year.
Bowling Green as well as New Mexico State made sure that their first four games didn’t define their season. The Falcons ended the season on a 5-3 run to ensure themselves a spot in a bowl game. Bowling Green played some close games but ultimately proved that their first four games of the season were a fluke.
What Does This Game Mean?
The significance of this game is big for both programs. New Mexico State over the past few seasons has struggled. Their last bowl appearance was in 2017 where they ended 7-6 with a win in the Arizona Bowl. Considering last season the Aggies went 3-9 a win in the Quick Lane Bowl could leap-start a foundation of good play for years to come.
The Falcons also have had trouble the past couple of seasons. This is Bowling Green’s first bowl appearance since 2015 where they fell in the GoDaddy Bowl and ended the season 10-4. The Falcons are hoping to recreate what they used to be in the seasons of 2012 to 2015 where they had four straight winning seasons. Grabbing this bowl game win would mean a lot to Scot Loeffler and his guys. Going into next season with a winning record and showing the school that his football team has potential would hopefully save his job for a couple more seasons.
When looking at both teams there are a couple of clear players who will have to come up big. To start, Bowling Green’s Quarterback Matt McDonald will be huge in the Quick Lane Bowl. Assuming he plays in the Bowl game he’ll be a key part of the Falcons’ success. McDonald down the stretch has won some big games for Bowling Green. The Senior from New Port Beach California can sling the ball downfield. His elusiveness in the pocket and ball placement makes him one of the best quarterbacks in all of the Mid-American Conference.
On the opposite side of the field for the Aggies Quarterback Diego Pavia will also be a huge part of their success. Pavia the Junior from Albuquerque New Mexico can honestly do it all. Just like McDonald, Pavia has played huge for the Aggies and has been a key part of their success on offense. His ability to throw the football as well as run makes him extremely hard to play against. New Mexico State doesn’t throw the football that often which makes Pavia a vital piece in their offensive scheme.
2022 Quick Lane Bowl Prediction
A lot is riding on this game for both teams. With both teams looking for their 7th win of the season a lot can go good and bad for both programs in this game. Bowling Green has shown that they can have moments of greatness, but with how good New Mexico State’s offense and defense have been of late it’ll be New Mexico State who wins a close low-scoring game 24-17.