BOWL BOUND: UTSA accepts invite to play bowl game this Saturday

The UTSA Roadrunners will get to play one final game in 2020 after accepting a bowl invite Sunday afternoon.

UTSA head football coach Jeff Traylor addressed the media Sunday, December 13, 2020 after the Roadrunners accepted a bowl bid. (Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIOUPDATE: The Frisco Bowl was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns among the SMU program. UTSA has now accepted a bid to the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl.

ORIGINAL STORY: For the second time in the 10-year history of UTSA football, the Roadrunners will play in a bowl game after accepting an invitation to the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl to face SMU. The first game of the 2020 bowl season.

“We’re excited to accept an invitation to play in the Frisco Bowl,” said head coach Jeff Traylor. “I’m thrilled for our players, coaches and staff that we will get to showcase our #210TriangleOfToughness brand on national TV yet again. They are very deserving of this opportunity and we can’t wait to get up to the Metroplex and compete against another in-state program in SMU.”

In his first year at UTSA, Traylor led the Roadrunners to a 7-4 overall record, and 5-2 mark in Conference USA West. They had a shot at the C-USA Championship game and needed the University of Alabama at Birmingham to lose to Rice. That didn’t happen as UAB won that game 21-16, leaving UTSA bummed out.

“It was a nice pick-me-up,” said Traylor of the bowl selection. “The Rice-UAB game yesterday was kind of a downer. Got our hopes up, then down, then back up, then down in the end, so it’s a nice little pick-me-up.”

Traylor, who was SMU’s associate head coach and running backs coach in 2017, feels the Roadrunners and Mustangs will be great for several reasons.

“Texas versus Texas matchup. You have SMU versus UTSA. Dallas and San Antonio. Recruiting, just a lot of fun stuff,” said Traylor. “We know their players. They know our players. I’ve coached some of their players. It’s just a fun, exciting matchup that I think will draw some good attention in those two areas.”

Recently, some schools have opted out of potentially playing in a bowl due to COVID-19 concerns. Did Traylor have any thoughts of doing the same thing?

“Not a chance,” said Traylor. “We have had a blast since June the 1st. Voluntary workouts, my kids haven’t missed them. 99.5% attended all summer long. We played 11 football games. We’re nowhere near done playing. We love to practice football. We love to play football. We love to coach football and as long as there’s games out there, we’ll go play them.”

UTSA’s first-ever meeting with the Mustangs will mark its first bowl appearance since the Gildan New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 17, 2016, in Albuquerque. The Roadrunners dropped a 23-20 decision to New Mexico.

“There’s an opportunity to write history every single year,” said Traylor. “We’ve never won a bowl game before. I believe If we were to win 8 games that would tie for the most wins in school history.”

The Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl will take place on Dec. 19 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The 3:30 p.m. contest will be televised nationally on ESPN2.

About the Author:

Larry Ramirez joined the KSAT 12 sports team in October 2004.