Bowling Green, New Mexico State match up in Quick Lane Bowl

Quick Lane Bowl: Bowling Green (6-6) vs. New Mexico State (6-6), Monday, 2:30 p.m. EST (ESPN)

FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK COLLEGE LINE: Bowling Green by 3 1/2.

Series record: First meeting.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Bowling Green, which will travel 75 miles north of its campus to Detroit’s Ford Field, has a chance to build momentum for coach Scot Loeffler’s fifth season in 2023 with its first winning season in seven years. New Mexico State won more games this season under first-year coach Jerry Kill than it had the previous three years combined and another victory would provide a boost before joining Conference USA next season.

KEY MATCHUP

Falcons through the air vs. the Aggies. Bowling Green senior QB Matt McDonald has thrown for 6,024 yards and 37 touchdowns in a four-year career that started at Boston College. WR Odieu Hiliare has 34-game streak with a reception and TE Christian Sims averages nearly four catches a game. New Mexico State picked off just six passes this season with Bryce Jackson and Syrus Dumas each making two INTs each. Its defense has 27 sacks led by Williams Lazarus Williams’ 7 1/2 sacks.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Bowling Green: DE Karl Brooks. NFL scouts will be watching the 6-foot-4, 300-pounder, who had 10 sacks and 18 tackles for losses this season. The fifth-year senior from Lansing, Michigan, led all FBS players with 47 hurries and was the highest-rated player on pass rushes, according to Pro Football Focus.

New Mexico State: QB Diego Pavia. A year after leading New Mexico Military Institute to a junior college national championship, he made an instant impact as a dual-threat player. The 6-foot, 200-Pavia ran seven-plus times a game for a total of 443 yards and 6 TDs and averaged 16 passes for 117 yards per game with a total of 11 TDs and five INTs.

FACTS & FIGURES

Bowling Green earned a bowl bid for the first time since 2015 and is 5-8 in bowl games. … The Aggies are 3-0-1 in bowl games and are appearing in their first since 2017. … Eastern Michigan and Toledo won last week, giving the MAC a 2-0 start in bowl games. … New Mexico State is in its fifth straight season as an independent football program. … Brooks was voted All-MAC while Hiliare, Sims and returner Ta’ron Keith were second-team all-conference players. … The Aggies are led by Pavia, LB Chris Ojoh, CB Syrus Dumas and WR Kordell David. … The NCAA granted standout C Jakari Robinson, a former Memphis and Cincinnati player, a transfer waiver on Sept. 23 and he missed four games at Bowling Green while waiting for a ruling. … Kill was an interim coach at TCU last season and previously led Minnesota and Northern Illinois. … Bowling Green junior and Detroit native Tyrone Broden is 6-7, tied for tallest WR in FBS, and tied team high with six receiving TDs.

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