UTSA set to close historic Frisco Bowl season against San Diego State’s No.24


After winning a Conference USA championship and recording the most successful season in program history, UTSA has been placed in the same bowl it was originally placed in last year.

After weeks of screenings putting the Roadrunners in the Independence Bowl or the New Orleans Bowl, UTSA instead landed in the Frisco Bowl against the San Diego State No.24 at 6:30 p.m. on December 21 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco.

The 2021 game will mark the fourth edition of the Frisco Bowl – a Tuesday night game in a 17,200-seat stadium.

The UAB, UTSA finalist in the US Conference West Division, drew the No. 13 BYU for the Independence Bowl, which will be played on Saturday, December 18 at the 50,000-seat Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Marshall, second in the C-USA East Division, will face Louisiana’s No.23 at the New Orleans Bowl on December 18 inside the Superdome, which accommodates nearly 75,000 spectators.

As word of the Roadrunners’ bowl destination spread, fans were quick to voice their displeasure on social media. Even UTSA defensive lineman Brandon Matterson posted a since-deleted tweet on match reports with the comment: “That’s a joke, isn’t it?”

UTSA athletic director Lisa Campos said the decision on the placement of the program’s bowls was made by Conference USA and the boules representatives.

UTSA vs. San Diego State # 24

When or: 6:30 p.m., December 21; Toyota Stadium, Frisco. TV: ESPN.

UTSA update (12-1): The Roadrunners will take part in a bowl game for the third time in the history of the program, looking for their first victory. UTSA lost 23-20 to New Mexico in the 2016 New Mexico Bowl and 31-24 to Louisiana in last year’s First Responder Bowl. … The Roadrunners claim the program’s first playoff victory, as UTSA won its first US Conference Championship by beating Western Kentucky 49-41 in Friday’s title game at the Alamodome. … UTSA have already broken a new program record with 12 wins, smashing the previous best-of-eight. … Sincere McCormick ran for 204 yards and three touchdowns in the title game, extending his career highs in the program to 3,929 yards and 34 touchdowns.

San Diego State Update (11-2): The Aztecs played for the Mountain West Championship on Saturday, losing 46-13 to Utah State. … San Diego State has won 10 or more games five times in the past seven years. UTSA first crossed the mark in 2021. … The Aztecs are appearing in a bowl game for the first time since 2019, which was the last in a series of 10 consecutive berths.

Greg Luca

UTSA has been in contact with the league office about the possibilities since the Roadrunners became eligible for the bowl, Campos said, adding that she “still hopes” that winning the conference championship would give the ‘UTSA more influence on its landing point.

Proximity to San Antonio to allow for fan participation and the quality of the opponent were the main factors to consider, Campos said, along with the bowl week experience for the players and the level of exposure. that the game offers to the program. The Frisco Bowl is scheduled to air on ESPN.

“The bowls are under contract with the conferences, so of course they get our opinion, but at the end of the day the conference staff are working with the bowls,” Campos said. “It’s a game of waiting, and we’ve been in constant communication.”

UTSA moved up to 12-1 with a 49-41 win over Western Kentucky in Friday’s Conference USA Championship game at the Alamodome, improving a record winning total for a program that never had one. landed more than eight in a year.

After a 7-4 regular season in 2020, UTSA was entered in a Frisco Bowl game against SMU, but the Mustangs were forced to withdraw due to COVID-19 protocols.

Coach Jeff Traylor said he was thrilled to see UTSA land in a bowl game near his home, brushing aside a question about the Roadrunners’ fan base’s initial dissatisfaction.

“This is a violation of the pillar of culture. Control the controllable items, ”Traylor said. “We have no control over it. We’re just going where they tell us to play and play with who we’re supposed to play with, and we’re going to trust the triangle and follow our culture.

San Diego State (11-2) secured the Frisco Bowl spot following a 46-13 loss to Utah State in the Mountain West Championship game on Saturday at Carson, in California.

The Aztecs entered the game with 20 players missing due to COVID-19 protocols, including key pieces at the near end and wide receiver, according to a report from the San Diego Union-Tribune.

UTSA linebacker Charles Wiley said receiving a berth in the bowl game is “great news” and a reward for the Roadrunners’ efforts this season.

“I’m just happy to be able to play another game,” Wiley said. “It’s amazing to be able to do this again.”

UTSA has played two bowl games so far, losing 23-20 to New Mexico in the 2016 New Mexico Bowl and losing 31-24 to Louisiana in last year’s First Responder Bowl.

After the 2021 season brought the first national ranking and conference championship in the program’s history, Wiley said the first bowl victory “would mean a lot to this city and mean a lot to this university.”

“That’s what’s most important to my kids, just to start off on a high note in the history of the program,” said Traylor. “We’ve never won a bowl game, and these kids have made a lot of firsts this year. I challenged them at the start of the year: “Why not us? “”

Traylor has said he will be on the road to recruit starting Monday, while the Roadrunners will spend the week focusing on strength and conditioning, San Diego state film failures and final exams.

The Frisco Bowl will give Roadrunners their first chance at a traditional bowl experience, with nearly all of the First Responder Bowl festivities from last year canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wiley said he was “really excited” to spend time with friends in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and tight end Leroy Watson said he was ready to “really enjoy this full experience” .

UTSA will also have Traylor at the helm in a bowl game for the first time after missing last year’s First Responder Bowl due to a COVID-19 infection.

“We’re finally going to see how he is in that atmosphere,” Watson said. “Maybe he will show a little more emotion on the sidelines this year.”

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Twitter: @GregLuca


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