DETROIT (KTSM) – New Mexico State defeated Bowling Green 24-19 to win the Quick Lane Bowl on Monday afternoon in Detroit.
Behind an MVP performance from Diego Pavia, the Aggies (7-6) stayed undefeated all-time in bowl games (4-0-1) and got head coach Jerry Kill his first bowl victory as a head coach in his first year at NMSU.
For Kill, it was a triumphant return to college football after he had to step down at Minnesota in 2015 due to health issues.
“A lot of people said that I never be back and never be able to be head coach again. And, you know, I have epilepsy. I still have issues from time to time and I’m coaching football,” Kill said. “Don’t give up on chasing your dream and keep fighting because you never know what happens. And you run into an athletic director that doesn’t really care what your disability is.”
Pavia led two first half scoring drives and finished 17-29 for 167 yards and two touchdowns. He also carried 12 times for 65 yards and converted on three third downs on a drive to end the game and secure the win for the Aggies.
“It was just, you know, do your job. And so when everything broke down, it was, ‘make a play,” Pavia said. “When when it comes down to those things, I want the ball in my hands. I feel like, you know, we were successful.”
The defense held Bowling Green to just 294 total yards and forced two turnovers, once again shining in a big moment.
“It’s just it’s an amazing feeling, you know, it’s just it’s hard to describe right now but it’s like a euphoria. You know I’m on a high, it’s amazing,” said senior linebacker Trevor Brohard.
The Aggies won six of their final seven games to end the 2022 campaign and will now head into Conference USA with a ton of momentum.