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'Our team deserved to play another game': SMU withdraws from Frisco Bowl due to COVID-19

The Mustangs are unable to play in Saturday's Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl due to COVID-19 cases and close contacts with student-athletes.
Credit: AP
SMU quarterback Shane Buechele (7) celebrates a 51-37 win over Navy after an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

The Southern Methodist University football team has been forced to opt-out of playing in the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl due to COVID-19 cases. 

The Mustangs were scheduled to play Saturday against the University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners. Now, the bowl itself has been canceled, ESPN officials said. 

SMU officials announced Tuesday morning that after testing and contact tracing, a number of student-athletes and staff members' results came back positive. 

University officials also said there were also several student-athletes identified as close contacts that would be unable to practice and play in the bowl game. 

Head coach Sonny Dykes said this senior class will be remembered for helping usher in a new era of Mustang Football.

"They won 17 games over the last two seasons and have been the winningest team in the state of Texas over that time. I'm appreciative and so proud of their accomplishments. We all owe them a great debt of gratitude," Dykes said. 

The Mustangs had finished 7-3 this season. 

SMU officials said the athletes will be able to quarantine for the next week in Dallas and will be tested twice during the time so that they are able to go home during the holidays if they choose to do so.

"Our team deserved to play another game. I'm disappointed for our fans, and even more disappointed for our players, that we will be unable to play in a bowl game this season," said Rick Hart, the SMU athletics director. 

UTSA will now play in the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl on Dec. 26. Their opponent will be announced in the coming days, ESPN officials said.

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