DALLAS —UTSA will face No. 16 Louisiana in the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 26, officials announced on Sunday. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on the SMU campus and the game will be televised nationally on ABC.
The Roadrunners’ first-ever meeting with the Sun Belt Conference co-champion Ragin’ Cajuns will mark their first bowl appearance since the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 17, 2016, in Albuquerque. UTSA, which matched an NCAA modern startup program record by playing in a bowl game in just its sixth season, dropped a 23-20 decision to New Mexico in its inaugural bowl game four years ago.
“We’re excited to host Louisiana and UTSA in the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl this year,” Executive Director Brant Ringler said. “Both teams certainly have enjoyed impressive seasons, and we are eager to see them compete in Dallas.”
Under the direction of first-year head coach Jeff Traylor, the Roadrunners have posted a 7-4 overall record in 2020. UTSA finished second in Conference USA’s West Division with a 5-2 mark (.714), percentage points behind league champion UAB, which beat Rice 21-16 on Dec. 12 to close out a 3-1 (.750) league ledger.
UTSA has posted its most wins and best conference record since the 2013 team went 7-5 overall and 6-2 in the league. The Roadrunners are riding a three-game winning streak, including a 49-17 home triumph over North Texas in their last outing on Nov. 28, and they are one victory shy of matching the program standard for wins set by the 2012 squad that went 8-4.
Louisiana, which is 19th in the final College Football Playoff rankings, will bring a 9-1 overall record into Saturday’s matchup. The Ragin’ Cajuns won the Sun Belt’s West Division with a 7-1 mark and were scheduled to face No. 9 Coastal Carolina in the conference championship game on Dec. 19 before it was canceled due to COVID-19 issues within the Chanticleers’ program.
Louisiana vs UTSA: SERVPRO First Responder Bowl Broadcast:
Date: Saturday, December 26
Game Time: 3:30 pm ET
Venue: Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, TX
To purchase tickets to the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl, please visit https://www.firstresponderbowl.com/ticket.
First played following the 2010 season, the bowl began honoring first responders, including police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, correctional officers, search and rescue, dispatchers, security guards, federal agents, border patrol agents and military personnel who have specialized training and are the first to arrive and provide assistance at the scene of an emergency in December of 2014. In 2018, the game was renamed to reflect the efforts to show appreciation to first responders.
Schools who have competed in the first decade of the First Responder Bowl include: Army West Point, Boise State, Boston College, Houston, Illinois, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Purdue, Southern Miss, Texas Tech, UNLV, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Western Michigan and Western Kentucky.
This is the fifth time in the last seven years that the game has been played on Dec. 26 (2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2020). Including last year, two of the bowl’s last three editions were determined on the final play.
This year’s SERVPRO First Responder Bowl will be televised on ABC and air on First Team Radio.
The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl is one of 17 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events. For additional information about the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl, please visit FirstResponderBowl.com and follow on Facebook and Twitter.
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of 35 collegiate sporting events nationwide. The roster includes four early-season college football games, 17 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 400 hours of live programming, reaches nearly 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in more than 10 markets across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.