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New Mexico State beats Utah State 26-20 in Nova Home Loans Arizo - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

New Mexico State beats Utah State 26-20 in Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl: Complete Highlights

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It was a near-sellout at the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl, and the scores of fans that packed the game (most-of-which made the 4-hour drive from the Las Cruces/El Paso area) definitely got their money's worth in the overtime thriller. New Mexico State wins 26-20.  Here's highlights as-seen on KVOA News 4 Tucson sportscast:

Here's more with the CEO of Nova Home Loans and the founder of the Arizona Bowl (John Volpe) in addition to the amazing amount of fans (and near sellout) at the game as-seen-on News 4 Tucson: 

Here's more with the fans of New Mexico State and Utah State as-seen-on-KVOA news:

Here's more from the Associated Press:

Larry Rose III scored on a 21-yard run in overtime and New Mexico State won in its first bowl game in 57 years, beating Utah State 26-20 in the Arizona Bowl on Saturday night.
    
Utah State (6-7) had the ball first in overtime and Dominik Eberle hit the right upright on a 29-yard field goal, sending a groan through the Utah State crowd. Eberle made 16 for 18 field goals during the regular season, but missed three in the Arizona Bowl.
    
New Mexico State (7-6) ran two plays in overtime, with Jones bursting through a hole on the left side of the line to send the Aggies and their fans rushing onto the Arizona Stadium field. Jones finished with 142 yards on 16 carries.
    
The third Arizona Bowl started with some early fireworks on special teams.
    
Utah State's Savon Scarver returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter, then New Mexico State's Jason Huntley took the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a score.
    
The excitement leveled off considerably until LaJuan Hunt scored on a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter, set up by a shanked punt from New Mexico State's Payton Theisler.
    
New Mexico State's Tyler Rogers, held in check most of the game, answered by moving the Aggies on a 69-yard scoring drive, capped by his 11-yard touchdown pass to Jaleel Scott that tied it at 20. A video review overturned the initial call that Scott was out of bounds.
    
This was a rematch 57 years in the making.
    
New Mexico State had not been to a bowl game since the 1960 Sun Bowl. The opponent: Utah State.
    
The teams played multiple times since then while playing together in a variety of conferences. Utah State, now in the Mountain West Conference, went to eight bowls since then, including six of the last seven.
    
New Mexico State went into a bowl-less tailspin, finishing with a losing record 44 times since that last bowl game. It had 14 straight losing seasons, including a 0-12 mark in 2005, before winning its final two games this season to finally get back to bowling.
    
The long-awaited rematch turned into the Special Teams Bowl in the first half.
    
New Mexico State's Dylan Brown made two field goals, Eberle made two and missed two, and each team had a kickoff return for a touchdown.
    
After a third quarter of defensive stops and punting, both teams found the end zone to send the game overtime.
    
BIG PICTURE
    
Utah State racked up 441 yards of offense and kept Rogers from having a big game, but had a rough night on special teams.
    
New Mexico State made its first postseason game in nearly six decades a memorable one by rallying for a victory.
    
UP NEXT
    
Utah State must replace seniors Hunt and cornerback Jalen Davis, a second-team AP All-American, but Love is a redshirt freshman.
    
New Mexico State will have big holes to replace with Rogers and Rose among the seniors it will have to replace.
    
___

Here's more from the Arizona Bowl staff:New Mexico State Aggies Defeat Utah State Aggies in the Third Annual NOVA® Home Loans Arizona Bowl Tucson, AZ – December 29, 2017 – After all the fantastic fun and festivities, there was some football to be played, and what a game it turned out to be. The Aggies of Utah State electrified the crowd with a kickoff return for a touchdown to take the early lead, but on the very next play, the Aggies of New Mexico State returned the favor with a 100-yard touchdown return of their own. The see-saw battle could not be decided in four quarters, and the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl was about to experience its first ever overtime game. Utah State could not take advantage of their possession, and NMSU took its dash towards destiny. Senior Running Back Larry Rose III took a handoff and his touchdown run ended the game and handed New Mexico State their first Bowl Championship since 1960. The Aggies of New Mexico State are the 2017 Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl Champions, by a 26-20 victory over Utah State. The game day celebrations started with a pre-game tailgate featuring NEON Trees and a Nacho Average Tailgate fiesta showcasing 11 gourmet nacho purveyors and beer vendors from Southern Arizona among other fun activities for fans and families. Thirty-nine thousand, one hundred and thirty-two fans enjoyed a bowl game that kicked off at 3:36pm and a sunny 78-degrees. Wings of Blue presented by Vantage West, was executed by the United States Air Force Elite Parachute Team delivering an American flag, the New Mexico State and the Utah State flags to the center of the field prior to the National Anthem performed by Retired Navy First Class Petty Officer Steven Powell. The USAF flyover was skillfully completed by two A-10s from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. For the second year in a row the Bowl handed out more than 12,000 sponsored tickets in a unique tribute to heroes from Southern Arizona, to include: active military members, first responders, police, firemen, teachers and others. All tickets provided through the Heroes Tribute Program were sponsored by local companies and individuals. This year the fans were treated to both school’s bands playing during the halftime show. New Mexico State University went first and completed three songs and a final cheer for the Aggie Nation. Utah State University performed three songs for their fans. In between third and fourth quarter Singer-Painter, Joe Everson sang God Bless America and painted the Iwo Jima Memorial on a canvass on the field. If the game wasn’t thrilling enough, the fans were treated to one more event at Armory Park with an after the game Downtown Block Party sponsored by the University of Arizona. A free concert featuring “A Flock of Seagulls”, food, beer, games, carnival rides and more completed a perfect night. The NOVA® Home Loans Arizona Bowl (a non-profit organization) was sanctioned in March 2015 as the 41st NCAA college football game and the third bowl game staged in Arizona. The NOVA® Home Loans Arizona Bowl is dedicated to promoting community engagement and support in the Tucson area and will include teams from the Mountain West Conference and the Sun Belt Conference. For more information about the NOVA® Home Loans Arizona Bowl visit: www.NOVAArizonaBowl.com

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