Oct 30, 2021; Carson, California, USA; Fresno State Bulldogs quarterback Jake Haener (9) throws the ball against the San Diego State Aztecs in the first half at Dignity Health Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

News Articles

Fresno State, UTEP enter New Mexico Bowl in different places

There will be plenty of history at stake when Fresno State battles UTEP in the New Mexico Bowl on Saturday in Albuquerque as one team looks to turn a page and the other is still writing the book.

The page-turning team is the Bulldogs (9-3), who over the three weeks since the end of their successful season have seen their head coach and offensive coordinator leave the program for other jobs.

Fresno State also watched as its senior starting quarterback, Jake Haener, entered the transfer portal and then thought better of the move once Jeff Tedford was hired as the Bulldogs’ next coach.

Tedford, who had a successful run at California and an aborted early retirement, will not coach the Bulldogs in the bowl game — that job falls to interim coach Lee Marks.

Marks’ charge will be to focus his team on the task at hand rather than the future. A win in Albuquerque would give Fresno State its first double-digit victory campaign since 2018, when it went 12-2 and won the Mountain West Conference championship.

“Practice has been going really, really well,” Marks said earlier this week. “The excitement that’s in the program right now is electric. The guys are moving around, they’re bouncing around and they’re really excited to get a chance to play against the Miners. We also know that we earned a spot to be down here and to do what we need to do to make sure we finish the right way.”

Marks would not reveal who would start at quarterback for the Bulldogs between Haener and freshmen Jaylen Henderson and Logan Fife.

“All those guys are doing a really, really good job with the plan right now,” he said. “(We are going to) keep everything in-house.”

UTEP (7-5) is a program on the rise, matching its highest win total since the 2014 season while finishing fourth in Conference USA’s West Division.

It’s the Miners first bowl game since 2014 (also the New Mexico Bowl) and the 15th bowl game in program history. UTEP is looking for its first win in postseason action since the 1967 Sun Bowl. That’s the longest postseason victory drought in FBS as the Miners have a six-game postseason losing streak.

“What you want in a bowl game is a chance to make history, and we have that,” UTEP coach Dana Dimel said. “At UTEP we haven’t won a bowl game in 40 years (actually 54). It’s a blessing to go out there and compete and hopefully win.

“When you play the game, it brings a lot of unity to our football team. That’s a big part of it. The unity gets even better.”

The Miners did not beat a team with a winning record this year, with the teams UTEP bested going a combined 23-60. The Miners are a two-touchdown underdog, the biggest longshot in the 42 bowls.

The Bulldogs and Miners will meet for the 13th time in program history, with Fresno State owning an 8-3-1 series edge. It will be the first meeting between the teams since 2004.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

Sportsbooks

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Upcoming Games

Sep 29th, 7:00 PM

South Carolina State

South Carolina

@

Sep 29th, 8:00 PM

Utah State +24 -135

BYU (19) -24 -135

@

Sep 30th, 7:00 PM

Tulane +3.5 -110

Houston -3.5 -110

@

Sep 30th, 7:30 PM

UTSA -6.5 -110

Middle Tennessee +6.5 -110

@

Sep 30th, 8:00 PM

San Diego State +5 -110

Boise State -5 -110

@

Sep 30th, 10:30 PM

Washington (15) -3 -110

UCLA +3 -110

@

Sep 30th, 11:00 PM

New Mexico +15 -110

UNLV -15 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Kentucky (7) +4 -110

Ole Miss (14) -4 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Texas Tech +8 -110

Kansas State (25) -8 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Oklahoma (18) -5 -110

TCU +5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Louisville -13.5 -110

Boston College +13.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Michigan (4) -9.5 -110

Iowa +9.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Purdue +10 -110

Minnesota (21) -10 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Illinois +9 -110

Wisconsin -9 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Georgia State +7.5 -110

Army -7.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Navy +16 -110

Air Force -16 -110

@

Oct 1st, 12:00 PM

Temple +20 -110

Memphis -20 -110

@

Oct 1st, 1:30 PM

Texas State +19.5 -110

James Madison -19.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 2:00 PM

Oregon State +11 -110

Utah (12) -11 -110

@

Oct 1st, 2:00 PM

Massachusetts +20 -110

Eastern Michigan -20 -110

@

Oct 1st, 2:00 PM

NIU -3.5 -110

Ball State +3.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 2:30 PM

East Carolina -8.5 -110

USF +8.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Alabama (2) -14.5 -110

Arkansas (20) +14.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Oklahoma State (9) +1 -110

Baylor (16) -1 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Iowa State -3 -110

Kansas +3 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Wake Forest (22) +3 -110

Florida State (23) -3 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Virginia Tech +9 -110

North Carolina -9 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Michigan State +6 -110

Maryland -6 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Rutgers +41 -110

Ohio State (3) -41 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Northwestern +24.5 -110

Penn State (11) -24.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Fresno State -24.5 -110

UCONN +24.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

SMU +4 -110

UCF -4 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Central Michigan +7 -110

Toledo -7 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Bowling Green -6 -110

Akron +6 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Miami-OH +1.5 -110

Buffalo -1.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Ohio +7 -110

Kent State -7 -110

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

The Citadel

Appalachian State

@

Oct 1st, 3:30 PM

Gardner-Webb

Marshall

@

Oct 1st, 4:00 PM

Texas A&M (17) +1 -110

Mississippi State -1 -110

@

Oct 1st, 4:00 PM

Georgia Southern +10 -110

Coastal Carolina -10 -110

@

Oct 1st, 4:00 PM

Florida Atlantic -4 -110

North Texas +4 -110

@

Oct 1st, 5:00 PM

Wagner

Syracuse

@

Oct 1st, 5:00 PM

South Alabama -6 -110

Louisiana-Lafayette +6 -110

@

Oct 1st, 5:30 PM

California +4 -110

Washington State -4 -110

@

Oct 1st, 6:00 PM

Liberty -2.5 -110

Old Dominion +2.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 6:00 PM

New Hampshire

Western Michigan

@

Oct 1st, 6:00 PM

UTEP -3 -110

Charlotte +3 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:00 PM

LSU -7.5 -110

Auburn +7.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:00 PM

Cincinnati -11.5 -110

Tulsa +11.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:00 PM

Louisiana-Monroe +9.5 -110

Arkansas State -9.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:00 PM

Troy +6 -110

WKU -6 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:30 PM

Georgia (1) -28 -110

Missouri +28 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:30 PM

West Virginia +10 -110

Texas -10 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:30 PM

NC State (10) +6.5 -110

Clemson (5) -6.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:30 PM

Virginia +2 -110

Duke -2 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:30 PM

Indiana +3.5 -110

Nebraska -3.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:30 PM

San Jose State +1 -110

Wyoming -1 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:30 PM

UAB -10.5 -110

Rice +10.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 8:00 PM

Georgia Tech +19 -110

Pittsburgh (24) -19 -110

@

Oct 1st, 8:00 PM

Florida International (FIU) +14.5 -110

New Mexico State -14.5 -110

@

Oct 1st, 9:30 PM

Colorado +19 -110

Arizona -19 -110

@

Oct 1st, 10:30 PM

Arizona State +24 -110

USC (6) -24 -110

@

Oct 1st, 11:00 PM

Stanford +15 -110

Oregon (13) -15 -110

@

Oct 2nd, 12:00 PM

Eastern Washington

Florida

@