The University of Nevada Wolf Pack has accepted an invitation to play in the second edition of the New Mexico Bowl. The Wolf Pack will represent the Western Athletic Conference in the contest.
"We are proud to have the Wolf Pack coming to Albuquerque for this year's New Mexico Bowl, "said Jeff Siembieda, New Mexico Bowl Executive Director. "Chris Ault is a hall of fame coach who has established a great tradition with an incredibly exciting offense. We are certain Nevada is going to put on a great show and we look forward to showing the Nevada team and fans a great time in New Mexico."
The New Mexico Bowl will be aired at 2:30pm (MST) on ESPN and ESPN-HD, live from University Stadium in Albuquerque, NM. Last year’s inaugural contest was played on December 23, 2006 with WAC representative San Jose State defeating the New Mexico Lobos 20-12.
Nevada will enter the contest with a 6-6 record after defeating Louisiana Tech 49-10 in their season finale on December 1st. The Wolf Pack finished in fourth place in the Western Athletic Conference standings with a 4-4 record. This marks the third straight season that the Wolf Pack has finished with a record of .500 or better. Nevada will be participating in their third postseason contest in as many years and the school’s eighth appearance overall. Nevada is 3-4 all-time in bowl games.
Nevada is coached by College Football Hall of Fame coach Chris Ault. Coach Ault has an impressive 191 wins at the school in his 23 seasons as the head coach for the Wolf Pack. Coach Ault is a 1968 graduate from Nevada and has led the Wolf Pack to four bowl games since the schools move to Division I-A football in 1992. He is serving in his third stint as head football coach but has also worked as the school’s Director of Athletics on two separate occasions in the past. Coach Ault is known for championship caliber football and innovating the Wolf Pack offense with "the Pistol" formation. Since Coach Ault’s return back to the sideline in 2004 the Wolf Pack has compiled an overall record of 28-21 and tied for the Western Athletic Conference title in 2005. The 2007 New Mexico Bowl marks the first time in school history that the Wolf Pack has played in three consecutive bowl games.
The Pistol offense is headed by a red shirt freshman quarterback Colin Kaepernick who has amassed over 2,000 yards in total offense and accounted for 24 touchdowns in less than eight total games. Kaepernick took over the offense from injured quarterback Nick Graziano. The Pack ground assault is driven by running back Luke Lippincott who led the Western Athletic Conference in rushing and is ranked in the top 20 in the nation for total rushing yards. Not to be forgotten is the Neveda defensive squad, which is anchored by senior linebacker Ezra Butler who leads the Pack in tackles and noseguard Matt Hines. Both players have been an integral part of the Wolf Pack defense and were named to several preseason defensive honor award lists.
Kicker Brett Jaekle has emerged as one of the most accurate and consistent kickers in the Western Athletic Conference having made at least one field goal in 12 straight games dating back to last season until last week in which he did not have a field goal attempt. He led the WAC in field goals per game at 1.45.
Nevada was defeated by the University of Miami 21-20 in the 2006 MPC Computers Bowl held in Boise, Idaho. Nevada’s last bowl victory came in the 2005 Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl. The Wolf Pack won and overtime thriller against the University of Central Florida 49-48.
The New Mexico Bowl is an ESPN Regional Television (ERT) owned and operated event. The Bowl is a certified college football bowl game owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television. ERT markets and owns four other bowl games—the Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl, Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl, Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl and the PapaJohns.com Bowl.