The 2019 New Mexico Bowl will feature a team from the Mid-American conference and the Mountain West. The Central Michigan Chippewas (8-5) will take on the San Diego State Aztecs (9-3). The two teams will be looking to end their season with a bowl win. Here is a preview of the 2019 New Mexico Bowl.
Central Michigan Chippewas (8-5)
Central Michigan is coming off of a loss in the MAC championship. Miami (Ohio) defeated them 26-21. The Chippewas went 1-11 last season, so making their conference championship is a great turnaround. After a 2-3 start this season, they went 6-1 to end the regular season.
The team won eight games so far this season. In all of those wins, the least amount of points they scored was 38. In their five losses, they averaged under 14 points per game. Even still, they ended the regular season ranked 28 in total offense. They put up yards both passing and running the football.
Senior quarterback Quinten Dormady started this season before an injury. He has since came back and played in multiple conference games.He had an efficient game against Toledo where he went 15-for-19 passing for 250 yards and two touchdowns. This has been Dormady’s only season as a Chippewa. He transferred from Tennessee to Houston, then Houston to Central Michigan. He is a reason this team was able to go from one win to possibly nine if they beat the Aztecs in the New Mexico Bowl.
Central Michigan ranks 38 in the FBS in total defense. They held six of their opponents to 21 points or less, including seven against Toledo as well as 10 verses Northern Illinois. The defense may need to come up big in this one. The Aztecs are a hard team to score against, so a low-score win may need to be the way the Chippewas finish with a ninth win.
San Diego State Aztecs (9-3)
San Diego State plays a lot of close games. They had a four game stretch where they averaged about 24 points per game, while allowing just 16 1/2 points per game. They went 4-0 during that stretch. Having a winning record in close games could be a big advantage in this game, as the Chippewas had just three one possession games this season, and they went 1-2 in those games.
The Aztecs don’t typically light up the scoreboard. This doesn’t mean they have a poor offense, though. They are ranked in the top 10 in time of possession, so long efficient drives may be something the Aztecs are actually trying to accomplish.
Senior quarterback Ryan Agnew sustained an injury this season. However, he is expected to be ready to play in the New Mexico bowl. He completed 63.5 percent of his passes this season. Agnew also had an 11:5 ratio in touchdown passes to interceptions.
The Aztecs have played high-quality defense this season. They are currently ranked fifth in total defense. They held seven of their opponents to 14 points or less this season. This includes 14 against UCLA and seven against Fresno State. They have a consistent squad on that side of the ball, and that can bring a team a long way. San Diego State hasn’t played a lot of offenses ranked as highly in total offense as Central Michigan. However, Hawaii is currently ranked 13 in total offense, and they were limited to just 14 points against the Aztecs.
Central Michigan scored at least 38 points in all of their wins so far this season. The Aztecs gave up 23 points against Utah State, and that was the most points they allowed in a single game this season. If San Diego State can have a high time of possession and play the defense they’re capable of, those can be some deciding factors in this game.
Final Score Prediction: San Diego State Aztecs 23 Central Michigan Chippewas 17
Feature Image Courtesy of collegefootballnews.com.