ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The New Mexico Bowl on Saturday might not provide ESPN viewers the Chamber of Commerce postcard bowl organizers would have hoped for.
After a week of sunshine and comfortable temperatures of about 50, forecasters are calling for a high of 44 Saturday, with breezes and possible showers. That means it might be no more than 40 for the noon local kickoff (11 a.m. PST) for the Washington State game against Colorado State.
Some on the Colorado State side told The Denver Post they believe they know some of the tendencies of WSU defensive coordinator Mike Breske, because CSU co-defensive coordinator Marty English worked with Breske for many years at both Northern Colorado and Wyoming.
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Breske scoffed, saying, “Marty and I haven’t worked together for a number of years (since 2008). He’s doing his stuff. There’s some similar things, but we’re different. We’re going to play hard-nosed defense and he’s going to play hard-nosed defense.”
One reason WSU trimmed its sack numbers from 57 to 27 in a year is the speed with which Connor Halliday gets the ball out, which hasn’t been lost on CSU coach Jim McElwain.
“It’s going to be really important for us to get him to hold it for at least one count (longer),” he said.
Sagote coming on
One of the unsung factors in WSU’s surge to bowl eligibility in November was the play of senior linebacker Justin Sagote, who was a Mike Leach recruit out of junior college in 2012.
Sagote had three consecutive games of 13 tackles, his career high, against Arizona, Utah and Washington.
• At the end of the workday Friday, WSU had sold 4,605 tickets. CSU’s count earlier Friday was 5,005.
• Bowl activities Friday included separate news conferences with each coach and two players (WSU’s were center Elliott Bosch and safety Deone Bucannon), plus a kickoff luncheon without the teams. There also was a pep rally in Old Town including bands and cheerleaders.
• Saturday is a big day for Mountain West Conference football. It’s in the first three games of the bowl season, including the Las Vegas (Fresno State against USC) and Famous Idaho Potatoes (San Diego State against Buffalo).
Bud Withers: 206-464-8281 or firstname.lastname@example.org