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Chris Kennedy | New Mexico State Athletics | December 3, 2017

New Mexico State is bowl bound for first time in 57 years

  New Mexico State earned its first Bowl invitation in 57 years.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. β€“ The New Mexico State football team has accepted an invitation to the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl to take on a familiar bowl opponent in Utah State on Dec. 29 at 3:30 p.m. MT in Tucson, Ariz. at Arizona Stadium on the CBS Sports Network. The rematch is almost 57 years to the date of when NM State took on Utah State in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31, 1960.

RELATED: CFP Top 4 announced | NY6 matchups

Following the bowl invitation head football coach Doug Martin said, "Getting to a bowl game is the way our senior class should go out. They are a remarkable group and have changed the culture here at New Mexico State. This bowl shows that we can do great things here and the best days are ahead."

The Aggies last postseason appearance saw an undefeated NM State team take down Utah State, 20-13, in the 1960 Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. Since that time, the Aggies have only had nine winning seasons.

After 57 years of coming up short, NM State broke the drought with a 6-6 record in 2017. The home finale featured the Aggies taking down South Alabama on the team's final drive of the game, 22-17. Saturday night's victory over the Jaguars marked the first time the Aggies have been bowl eligible since 2002.

In 2017, Martin and the Aggies engineered a historic regular-season which featured the nation's fourth best passing offense with 352.6 yards per game and a defense that set a new program record for sacks in a single-season with 40.

"Being invited to the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl is one of the top highlights in the history of New Mexico State athletics," said New Mexico State Director of Athletics Mario Moccia. "I am extremely happy for our football team and coaches who overcame significant hurdles to achieve this success.  I am also happy for all NM State alumni, our Chancellor and Regents as well as our former players and Las Cruces community.  Ending the nation's longest bowl streak was a team effort and I am confident we will have a huge contingent of fans in Tucson."

MORE: Bowl schedule, scores, TV listings, and matchup information

NM State is encouraging fans to order tickets for the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl through the Pan Am ticket office. Orders can be placed by visiting the Pan Am ticket office or by calling 575-646-1420.

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