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Nevada accepts invitation to New Mexico Bowl

The Nevada Wolf Pack accepted an invitation to the seventh annual Gildan New Mexico Bowl on Sunday afternoon and will play a representative from the Pac-12 conference

Stefphon Jefferson of the Nevada Wolf Pack
Stefphon Jefferson of the Nevada Wolf Pack

The Nevada Wolf Pack became the second Mountain West team to accept a bowl invitation Sunday afternoon, accepting a big to the seventh annual Gildan New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque, N.M.

The Wolf Pack, who are 7-4 and 4-3 in MWC play, will play a team from the Pac-12 conference in the game, which kicks off the Division I bowl season on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 11 a.m. MT on Branch Field at University Stadium on the South Campus of the University of New Mexico. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN TV and broadcast on ESPN Radio.

"We are happy to welcome Nevada back to the Gildan New Mexico Bowl," said Jeff Siembieda, Gildan New Mexico Bowl Executive Director in a press release. "They are an exciting team having a terrific season and we look forward to hosting Coach (Chris) Ault and his team for what should be another great bowl week."

Nevada still has a game remaining in the 2012 season. The Wolf Pack hosts 9-2 Boise St. (No. 15 USA Today Coaches/No. 25 Associate Press) on Saturday, Dec. 1 at Mackay Stadium. The Broncos have a chance to secure a piece of the MWC championship with a win in the game, which will be televised regionally on ABC television.

"We are excited for this opportunity to represent our university and community in this great event," Nevada athletics director Cary Groth said in a press release.

Tickets for the Nevada seating section are $40 and will be available beginning Monday at 10 a.m. by visiting or calling (775) 348-PACK.

This marks the eighth consecutive season that Nevada will play in a bowl, which is a program record and the 15th-longest streak in the nation. This will be Nevada’s second appearance in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. The Wolf Pack fell to New Mexico 23-0 in the 2007 game.

The Wolf Pack will be making their second appearance in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. Nevada played in the 2007 game as a member of the Western Athletic Conference, falling 23-0 to the New Mexico Lobos. The Wolf Pack has been to seven straight bowl games, competing last year in the Sheraton Hawai`i Bowl against Southern Miss. Nevada last won in a bowl game in 2010, beating Boston College 20-13 in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

"This is great news and we will be looking forward to it," Nevada coach Chris Ault said in a press release. "We know from experience that this is a first-class event."

Nevada currently ranks seventh in the nation in rushing offense and 10th in total offense. They are led by running back Stefphon Jefferson, who is second in the country in rushing, averaging 142.18 yards per game. Quarterback Cody Fajardo is ranked 11th in the nation in total offense averaging 322.7 YPG.

Speculation from Pac-12 media outlets has one of three 7-5 teams playing against Nevada -- the Arizona Wildcats, the Arizona St. Sun Devils or the Washington Huskies. Siemieda, who hosts a morning sports radio talk show in Albuquerque, mentioned early last week that he would be attending the Arizona-Arizona St. game in Tucson Friday -- were the visiting Sun Devils upset the then ranked Wildcats 41-34. Washington was also upset Friday, losing at in-state rival the Washington St. Cougars 31-28.