The 2020 college football bowl pairings are out, and the West Virginia Mountaineers will find themselves matched up with a former SEC power in what’s probably the best destination Mountaineers fans could’ve hoped for - the AutoZone Liberty Bowl against the Tennessee Volunteers on December 31st at 4:00PM ET on ESPN.
The matchup will mark the second ever meeting between the two programs, and the Mountaineers’ third appearance in the Liberty Bowl. In their last post-season trip to Memphis, West Virginia suffered a 45-37 loss to the Texas A&M Aggies. The Mountaineers last played the Vols in their 2018 season opener at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, winning 40-14. West Virginia head coach Neal Brown has never faced the Volunteers as a head coach, but a win here would put a nice bow on the bizarre 2020 season and give the Mountaineers a little momentum heading into 2021.
West Virginia ended the regular season with an 5-4 record after their game against the Oklahoma Sooners was cancelled due to positive COVID-19 cases within the Mountaineer program, and finished sixth in the Big 12 Conference standings behind the Iowa St. Cyclones, the aforementioned Sooners. Texas Longhorns, Oklahoma State Cowboys and TCU Horned Frogs.
Tennessee finished the season with a 3-6 record and fifth in the SEC East.
The Mountaineers have appeared in the Liberty Bowl twice, coming away with losses both times. The first appearance came in December 1964 against the Utah Utes. That game was played at the Liberty Bowl’s original home — Convention Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
According to an interview in October, Liberty Bowl executives expect about 12,000 spectators to be allowed in the 58,000-seat stadium. For tickets, call (901) 795-7700, CLICK HERE for Ticketmaster.com, or email Kevin.Alexander@LibertyBowl.Org