Utah State ‘All Business’ Ahead Of New Mexico Bowl

Dec 15, 2018, 11:07 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Bowl week isn’t time for fun. For the Utah State Aggies, Saturday’s New Mexico Bowl is a business trip with one goal – finish the 2018 season with a win.

It would be a fitting end for one of the best seasons in program history that has been overshadowed by the offseason departure of Head Coach Matt Wells, Offensive Coordinator David Yost, and Defensive Coordinator Keith Patterson.

Despite that, the Aggies said there aren’t any distractions, and they’re focused on their end goal.

“Everybody’s locked in,” said senior center Quin Ficklin. “All we’re focused on is winning the game. We came here to win a game, that’s all we’re here for.”

“Because of who are kids are, it’s been a smooth transition,” said interim head coach Frank Maile. “Under these circumstances, with the changes, it would normally be a little chaotic, but they’ve been a great support and want to finish the season the right way.”

Combining for a 19-5 record – the best combined record of two bowl opponents outside of the New Year’s Six Bowl Games – North Texas is a tough task to tackle for the Aggies. The Mean Green finished second in Conference USA and demolished the Arkansas Razorbacks 44-17 in Fayetteville.

The Aggies on the other hand, finished second in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West Conference, won 10 consecutive games, and scored an average of 47.2 points per game – the best in school history.

“It’s been fun,” said sophomore quarterback Jordan Love. “We’re ready for the game tomorrow, ready to get a win.”

The turnaround for the Aggies has been an impressive feat. The Aggies 10 wins in 2018 was one more than the Aggies totaled in 2016 and 2017.

“It’s been (quite the) a ride,” said senior linebacker Jontrell Rocquemore. “Just to be able to be here, to get through the good, the bad, the ugly, then be part of something great is an unbelievable feeling.”

The improvement has given the Aggies senior leadership an edge, confident in their ability and able to back up their talk on the gridiron like during Friday’s joint pep rally with North Texas and Utah State, where Ficklin confidently predicted Saturday’s game.

“The only thing to do this weekend in Albuquerque is to win a bowl game, get a win on our finger, and finish out the season with 11 wins,” said Ficklin. “We’re getting a win. We’re in the habit of winning.”

Finishing the season with by matching a program best 11 wins would be the cherry on top.

“Credit to our kids for staying focused. They understand there’s still one more game,” said Maile. “We want to do this for the seniors, but the seniors want to do it for the kids coming back so they know the climb never ends.”

Ultimately, the game is decided on the field between the Aggies and Mean Green. The New Mexico Bowl begins at noon MT, kicking off the 2018 bowl season.

  • Utah State Aggies Scoreboard

  • Utah State Aggies Team Leaders

  • Utah State Aggies Standings

Utah State Aggies

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Utah State ‘All Business’ Ahead Of New Mexico Bowl