Nevada (7-5, 4-4 Mountain West) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4, 7-1 Sun Belt), 11 a.m. ET (ESPN).
Line: Louisiana-Lafayette by 1.
Series Record: Nevada leads 1-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Nevada seeks its first bowl victory since the 2010 season, when Colin Kaepernick was quarterback. A bowl victory would also be the first under second-year coach Brian Polian. Louisiana-Lafayette is seeking its fourth straight New Orleans Bowl victory and fourth straight nine-victory season in what is coach Mark Hudspeth’s fourth year with the Ragin’ Cajuns.
Louisiana-Lafayette’s running game, which is led by the tandem of Alonzo Harris and Elijah McGuire, against Nevada’s defensive front. The Ragin’ Cajuns are averaging 229.4 yards per game on the ground this season. Nevada has allowed more than 200 yards rushing in a game five times.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Nevada: QB Cody Fajardo runs Nevada’s pistol offense, which features dual-threat quarterbacks. Fajardo passed accounted for 3,371 yards from scrimmage and 31 touchdowns this season (2,374 yards and 18 TDs passing, 997 yards and 13 TDs rushing).
Louisiana-Lafayette: RB Elijah McGuire, who has rushed for 1,165 yards and 14 TD’s this season, averages 141.3 all-purpose yards per game and 7.8 yards per carry.
FACTS & FIGURES
Since switching from Division I-AA to Division I (now FBS) in 1992, Nevada has appeared in 11 bowl games, going 3-8. … The Wolf Pack averages 13.25 points off of turnovers per game, most in the nation. … Nevada head coach Brian Polian, 39, is in his first head coaching job and is among the youngest head coaches at the FBS level of college football. Polian is the son of former longtime NFL executive Bill Polian. … Louisiana-Lafayette coach Mark Hudspeth’s 35 victories are the most ever by a Ragin’ Cajuns coach in a four-season span. … Cajuns DL Christian Ringo, who has 10 ½ sacks, is only ½ sack short of tying a single-season school record of 11 and one sack short of tying the school career record of 21. … The past three New Orleans Bowls have had the three largest crowds since the bowl game’s founding in 2001. The past three crowds have each exceeded 42,000. Last year’s attendance was nearly 55,000. Lafayette is a little more than a two-hour drive from New Orleans.