TUCSON, Arizona - It has been more than 20,000 days since New Mexico State last appeared in a bowl game.
Now, there is less than one day separating NM State from ending that drought.
NMSU will meet Utah State in the Arizona Bowl on Friday at 3:30 p.m. MST.
Both NMSU head coach Doug Martin and Utah State coach Matt Wells addressed the media on the eve of the game, speaking in glowing terms about their upcoming opponent.
"I have a lot of respect for the [NMSU] coaching staff, said Utah State's Wells. "Coach Martin and his staff have done a really nice job, you know, in the last five years of getting this program into a bowl game and competitive."
Utah State will be playing its sixth bowl game in the last seven seasons - a streak that NMSU would like to one day claim as their own.
"Utah State to me is a program that we really need to try to emulate. I mean, they've been very consistent," said NMSU head coach Doug Martin. "To be able to sustain that is really difficult."
Wells said that they key for Utah State will be slowing down the dynamic trio of quarterback Tyler Rogers, running back Larry Rose III, and wide receiver Jaleel Scott. He called that group from NMSU one of the top two most explosive units his team has faced with the possible exception of Colorado State.
He added that his team will be ready for that challenge and ready for an NMSU team he knows would love nothing more than capping off an already historic season with one more win.
"I mean our guys are ready to play," said Wells. "They're excited to be here. I think you're gonna see two passionate teams with two good fan bases."
Though the NMSU Aggies actually enter as a slight favorite, they are still trying to embrace the role of the underdog, which has worked well for them so far this season.
"It's kind of an us against the world mentality, and we've been trying to instill that in our players for a while," said Doug Martin. "And I thought that this group was the first group that really embraced that."