UTSA leaders call on students to pack their bags for Florida bowl game

UTSA leaders call on students to pack their bags for Florida bowl game
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UTSA leaders asked Roadrunner fans to pack their bags for the 2022 Duluth Trading Cure Bowl in Orlando, Florida, on Dec. 16.

ESPN Events and the Orlando Sports Foundation on Sunday announced the game will feature the Sun Belt Champion No. 24 Troy Trojans and the Conference USA Champion No. 25 UTSA Roadrunners at Exploria Stadium.

Kickoff is at 2 p.m. local time on ESPN.

“I couldn’t be more excited for our players to get to travel to one of the premier bowl destinations in the country in Orlando and play a fellow top-25 team and conference champion in Troy in the Cure Bowl, said UTSA Head Coach Jeff Traylor.

He added: “We’re thrilled about the matchup and the platform to showcase UTSA and the 210 Triangle of Toughness brand on national TV on the opening day of bowl season. It’s been an unbelievable season of overcoming adversity to achieve success and break records, and now there is an opportunity to get one more first for our school — a bowl win.”

UTSA Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Lisa Campos called on Roadrunners to make the trip to Florida to support their team.

“It’s an honor to accept this invitation to the Duluth Trading Cure Bowl, and we’re looking forward to all of Roadrunner Nation making the trip to Orlando for this exciting matchup with Troy. Jeff Traylor has taken our football program to new heights and this matchup on ESPN will be a chance for the rest of the country to see what UTSA is all about,” she said.

Alan Gooch, Orlando Sports Foundation CEO and Duluth Trading Cure Bowl executive director, said the teams are playing for a good cause — finding a cure for cancer.

“On behalf of the Orlando Sports Foundation, we are honored to welcome Troy and UTSA to the Duluth Trading Cure Bowl,” he said. “Gameday is going to be special as college football fans, cancer survivors and supporters, both team’s bands and the Orlando Community come together at Church Street Station for the March 2Cure before heading to Exploria Stadium to watch the Trojans compete against the Road Runners.”

The March 2Cure is a pregame block party starting at 10:30 a.m. at Church Street Station. The event will be highlighted by a cancer tribute march featuring the team bands, dignitaries, cancer survivors, cancer supporters and the Orlando community walking together in a cloud of pink smoke to Exploria Stadium, according to a news release.

Troy is making its ninth bowl appearance, first since 2018, while UTSA is heading to its fourth bowl game. Both teams are also making their bowl debut in the Sunshine State.

Troy (11-2, 7-1 Sun Belt) and UTSA (11-2, 8-0 C-USA) will be playing for the first time on the gridiron. Both teams enter the postseason with 10-game winning streaks on the line.

The Duluth Trading Cure Bowl, one of 17 college football bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events, is one of many fundraising events hosted by the Orlando Sports Foundation that supports cancer research. More than $3.8 million has been raised since 2015. Dr. Annette Khaled, the Head of the Division of Cancer Research at the UCF College of Medicine, received $1.2 million from the funds donated.

Tickets start at $37 and are currently on sale at CureBowl.com.

Team information below provided by bowl officials:

Troy Trojans (11-2, 7-1 Sun Belt)

  • Troy is ranked No. 23 in the AP Top-25, which is their second ranking in school history. This week is the Trojans first appearance in the USA Today AFCA Coaches Poll at No. 24.
  • The Trojans captured their seventh Sun Belt Championship, the most in conference history, with a 45-26 victory over Coastal Carolina on Dec. 3.
  • Troy enters the game with a 10-game winning streak, its longest streak since 1995, and the third longest active streak in the country.
  • The Trojans posted a perfect 7-0 record at home for the second time in program history, notching victories over Alabama A&M, Marshall, Southern Miss, Texas State, Army, ULM and Coastal Carolina.
  • Sun Belt Championship game MVP, Gunnar Watson, propelled the Trojan offense by completing 12-of-17 passes for 318 yards and three touchdown. He enters the bowl matchup with 2,705 yards and 13 touchdowns.
  • The receiving duo of Tez Johnson and RaJae’ Johnson have combined for 10 touchdowns along with 823 and 672 yards, respectfully.
  • Kimani Vidal has rushed for 1059 yards and nine touchdowns, while DK Billingsley has added 656 yards and eight touchdowns.
  • The defense ranks fifth nationally in scoring defense (17.5). Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year Carlton Martial, who is the NCAA FBS career tackles leader and ranks fourth nationally, has 121 tackles and Craig Slocum has added 96 stops. A team-best eight sacks has been registered by T.J. Jackson, while Reddy Steward leads the Trojans with three interceptions.
  • Sun Belt Coach of the Year Jon Sumrall is in his first season guiding the Trojans

UTSA Roadrunners (11-2, 8-0 C-USA)

  • The Roadrunners won their second-consecutive C-USA Championship with a 48-27 victory against North Texas on Dec. 3. UTSA is set to join the American Athletic Conference for the 2023 season.
  • UTSA, which is ranked 22nd in the AP Top 25 and USA Today AFCA Coaches Poll, brings a 10-game winning streak into the bowl game and has won 26 of its last 31 contests dating back to Nov. 2020.
  • The high-powered Road Runners offense ranks seventh nationally in passing efficiency (162.67), eighth in third down conversion Pct. (.497), ninth in total offense (486.1) and 12th in passing offense (308.6).
  • C-USA Championship game MVP, Frank Harris, led the offense by going 32-of-37 through the air with 341 yards and four touchdowns. The senior QB ranks sixth nationally with 3,865 passing yards and ninth nationally with 31 passing touchdowns.
  • Zakhari Franklin and Joshua Cephus rank inside the Top-30 nationally with 1,100 and 985 receiving yards, respectively. Franklin ranks third in the nation with 14 receiving touchdowns, while De’Corian Clark has eight and Cephus has six.
  • The running back duo of Kevorian Barnes and Brenden Brady have tallied 713 and 699 yards on the ground, respectively. Harris has added 588 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, while Banes also has ran into the endzone nine times
  • The defense is paced by Jamal Ligon with 79 tackles, while Trey Moore has totaled 13.5 tackles for loss and six sacks. Three interceptions have been caught by Clifford Chattman and Corey Mayfield Jr.
  • Head coach Jeff Traylor has guided the Road Runners to a 30-9 record in three seasons.

Kylie Tyler

Attended Missouri State University. BOS in Journalism. Writing & journalism seminars, classes continued education, online forums, and skill enhancement. :) Love Free Press!

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