BYU 24, SMU 23

Fully embracing the last-minute change to the primetime ABC timeslot, BYU and SMU put on a thriller. The Mustangs were able to jump out to a quick lead in the first quarter with a quick field goal and 75-yard drive to retake the lead after Tanner Mordecai found Roderick Daniels in the endzone for an 8-yard score. The Cougars owned the middle part of the game with new QB Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters leading the offense to two scores sandwiched around an 76-yard interception return by Ben Bywater. SMU reused to quit though, scoring twice in the fourth quarter, including the final time with 8 seconds on the clock. Going for two and the win, they would miss the two-point conversion and ultimately fall to BYU 24-23.



Jordan Mims ran for 165 yards and two touchdown and caught five passes for 71 yards and another score to help Fresno State beat UTEP 31-24 on Saturday in the New Mexico Bowl. Fresno State (10-3) won the bowl game for the first time in three tries. Jake Haener was 26 of 41 for 286 yards and a touchdown. His status had been somewhat in doubt when he briefly entered the transfer portal after coach Kalen DeBoer took the job at Washington. Mims’ 22-yard catch and run late in third quarter gave the Bulldogs a 26-17 lead. But it was setting the tone with the ground game that was important.



Coming into the New Mexico Bowl, San Diego State's defense was the focus. The Aztecs ranked second in the nation in rushing defense and second in rushing yards allowed per carry. But San Diego State's offense, with only an average of 19 points-per game, ranked among the nation's worst. Something had to give against Central Michigan and its strong defense. So the Aztecs offense stepped it up Saturday. Ryan Agnew passed for 287 yards and three touchdowns, Jesse Matthews caught three passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns and San Diego State won a bowl game for the first time since 2016, beating Central Michigan 48-11 on Saturday in the New Mexico Bowl.



Utah State walked into the New Mexico Bowl with one of its best records in school history yet surrounded by uncertainty. Its head coach, Matt Wells, left to take the Texas Tech job. Interim coach Frank Maile had to prepare the Aggies with an army of graduate assistants even though former head coach Gary Andersen would return. However, Andersen opted not to attend the bowl game. North Texas' highly-touted QB Mason Fine was injured in the first quarter, and the Mean Green ended up using four quarterbacks.



Leading up to the New Mexico Bowl, Marshall wide receiver Tyre Brady kept hearing about Colorado State’s explosive offense. Doubters were overlooking the Thundering Herd’s own weapons, he thought. So when Brady’s chance came in the second quarter, the junior separated himself from Rams coverages and sprinted to a 76-yard touchdown reception for the first of three big scoring plays that allowed Thundering Herd hold off the Rams 31-28. He was joined by Keion Davis, who rushed for 141 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown run . Tyler King added a 90-yard rushing touchdown for the Herd (8-5). Chase Litton threw for 262 yards and two touchdowns, overshadowing the much-hyped Colorado State quarterback Nick Stevens, who was sacked five times. The Thundering Herd are 11-2 in bowl games — 5-0 under Doc Holliday. For Colorado State (7-6), it was another disappointing postseason. The Rams have lost four straight bowl games, and lost four of their last five this season after a 6-2 start. Tyre Brady (RS-Jr., WR) was recognized as the offensive MVP and Channing Hames (RS-So., DT) garnered the defensive MVP awards.



New Mexico head coach Bob Davie earned his first career bowl victory when the Lobos, boosted by a pair of short touchdown runs from Richard McQuarley, beat UTSA, 23-20. Despite the hype around New Mexico's triple-option threat and the Lobos leading the nation in rushing, the Roadrunners ran for more yards than the Lobos. Jarveon Williams ran for 125 yards for the Roadrunners, who lost in their first bowl appearance in the program's six-year history. UNM quarterback Lamar Jordan was voted as the Most Outstanding Offensive Player by the media, leading the team in rushing (81 yards on 13 carries) and passing (3-4-0 for 77 yards). Linebacker Dakota Cox was named the Defensive MVP, tallying 10 tackles (6 solo), 1.5 tackles for loss (4 yards), and one breakup.


The New Mexico Bowl trophy is one of the most unique in all of college sports. It is a Native American clay pot meticulously handcrafted by artists Marcellus and Elizabeth Media from the Zia Pueblo. The 20-inch bowl-shaped pottery features the iconic Zia sun symbol and images of football players, a deer, mountain lion, buffalo and eagle.

Elizabeth hand-coils and fires the pottery at the couple's home studio and her husband, Marcellus, paints the clay trophies. Using a white base coat on the pot makes the Zia patterns stand out after being hand-painted in black. His final touch is colored acrylic paints depicting football players in classic game stances and logos for the participating teams, not to mention the New Mexico Bowl insignia. At top market value, the pots would sell for an estimated $2,500.

The New Mexico Bowl stuck with the unconventional for its Outstanding Offensive and Defensive Player Awards. They went to another Zia Pueblo artist, Ralph Aragon, who crafted the trophies from traditional leather shields.

Jeff Siembieda, New Mexico Bowl Executive Director, found all three artists in 2006 when he traveled to the pueblo, located approximately 30 miles northwest of Albuquerque, looking for permission to use the Zia sun in its logo. The tribal leaders gave there consent and in return, asked that Zia art be used for the awards.

Team Trophy Winners

2006: San Jose State (WAC)

2007: New Mexico (MWC)

2008: Colorado State (MWC)

2009: Wyoming (MWC)

2010: BYU (MWC)

2011: Temple (MAC)

2012: Arizona (Pac-12)

2013: Colorado State (MWC)

2014: Utah State (MWC)

2015: Arizona (Pac-12)

2016: New Mexico (MWC)

2017: Marshall (C-USA)

2018: Utah State (MWC)

2019: San Diego State (MWC)

2020: Hawai’i (MWC)

2021: BYU (Independent)

Outstanding Offensive Player Honorees

2006: James Jones, Sr., WR, SJSU

2007: Donovan Porterie, RS-Fr., QB, UNM

2008: Gartrell Johnson, Sr., RB, CSU

2009: Austyn Carta-Samuels, Fr., QB, UWyo

2010: Jake Heaps, Fr., QB, BYU

2011: Chris Coyer, So., QB, TEM

2012: Matt Scott, Sr., QB, ARIZ

2013: Connor Halliday, Jr., QB, WSU

2014: Kent Myers, Fr., QB, USU

2015: Anu Solomon, RS-So., QB, ARIZ

2016: Lamar Jordan, Jr., QB, UNM

2017: Tyre Brady, RS-Jr., WR, Marshall

2018: Jordan Love, So., QB, Utah State

2019: Jordan Byrd, So., RB & Jesse Matthews,


2020: Calvin Turner, Sr., RB, Hawai’i

2021: Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters (QB, BYU)

Outstanding Defensive Player Honorees

2006: Matt Castelo, Jr., LB, SJSU

2007: Brett Madsen, Jr., LB, UNM

2008: Tommie Hill, Sr., DE, CSU

2009: Mitch Unrein, Sr., DL, UWyo

2010: Andrew Rich, Sr., S, BYU

2011: Tahir Whitehead, Sr., LB, TEM

2012: Marquis Flowers, Jr., LB, ARIZ

2013: Shaquil Barrett, Sr., DE, CSU

2014: Zach Vigil, Sr., LB, USU

2015: Scooby Wright, III, Jr., MLB, ARIZ

2016: Dakota Cox, Sr. , LB, UNM

2017: Channing Hames, RS-SO., DT, Marshall

2018: DJ Williams, Jr., DB, Utah State

2019: Kyahva Tezino, Sr., LB, SDSU

2020: Darius Muasau, So., LB, Hawai’i

2021: Ben Bywater (LB, BYU)