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NMSU looks to end longest bowl drought in college football

Brittany Costello
December 01, 2017 10:28 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – It's a dry spell 57 years in the making. In 1960, NMSU took on Utah State in the Sun Bowl and emerged victorious to finish an undefeated season.

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But after that victory, the program's success stalled. Now, after all those years, there's renewed hope in Las Cruces, New Mexico. On Saturday, the Aggies have a chance to end the longest bowl drought in college football when they take on South Alabama in the final game of the season.

"The excitement around the community right now is building up at kind of a crescendo to tomorrow afternoon," said NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers. "This is almost like the biggest game we've ever played."

The excitement about the possibility of a bowl game for NMSU is so pervasive that Carruthers posted an excused absence notice on Facebook to be used by anyone, in the hopes the community will skip holiday shopping, chores or studying to support their team.

"We're working toward our sixth win of the season, which would then qualify us for a bowl game," he said. "We're hoping we would be invited to the Arizona Bowl."

For a while, though, that excitement was clouded by the possibility of a financial struggle – could the university afford to go to a bowl game, should they qualify?

"There was no way we were going to deny a bowl bid, given what we've been through the last 50 years," Carruthers said. "No way whatsoever, financial or otherwise."

Schools that participate in a bowl are required to sell a certain number of tickets. If they don't meet the number, the school has to eat that cost.

Carruthers said he is concerned students won't be able to afford traveling to a bowl game further than New Mexico or Arizona.

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Brittany Costello

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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