Bowl eligible already, Auburn hosts New Mexico State

New Mexico State (8-3) at Auburn (6-4), Saturday, 4 p.m. EST (SEC Network).

Line: Auburn by 23 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Auburn leads 3-0.


The Tigers are already bowl eligible after three straight Southeastern Conference wins, but an upset loss would dampen the mood leading up to the Iron Bowl against Alabama. New Mexico State has clinched a spot in the Conference USA championship game against No. 25 Liberty and wants to extend a six-game winning streak. The Aggies are bowl eligible for a second straight season, something they haven't done since the 1959-60 seasons.


Both offenses are largely powered by running games and have mobile quarterbacks. Auburn is averaging 207 yards rushing with 19 touchdowns, and the Aggies are posting very similar numbers (206.1 yards, 18 TDs). Jarquez Hunter leads the Tigers with 745 yards while quarterback Diego Pavia tops New Mexico State with 705 yards and five scores. Monte Watkins has run for 531 yards while averaging 10.8 per carry.


New Mexico State: Pavia has passed for 2,257 yards and 19 touchdowns against six interceptions in addition to leading the team in rushing. He was the Quick Lane Bowl MVP last season.

Auburn: Hunter was expected to be the Tigers’ top offensive weapon entering the season, and he’s certainly playing like it lately. Hunter has three straight 100-yard games during Auburn’s winning streak, averaging 145 yards.


New Mexico State has lost its first 27 meetings against SEC teams. ... Auburn has won the first three meetings by a combined 152-41, or an average of about 50-14. It’s the first time these two teams have met since a 42-7 Tigers win in 2012. ... New Mexico State has reached eight wins for the first time since 1965 and only the fifth time in program history. ... The Tigers are trying to become the 13th FBS program to reach 800 wins. They’re 799-464-47 in 131 years of football. ... New Mexico State has rushed for 170-plus yards in 14 consecutive games, going over the 200-yard mark in three of the last four. ... The Aggies will play 15 games this season, including 13 in the regular season after playing at Hawaii.


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