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REPORT: Tennessee out of Liberty Bowl due to COVID-19

Official Smoking Musket canon says them Vols were just too scared to play the Mountaineers, PAWLLLLLLLLLL

Tennessee vs Arkansas Photo by Andrew Ferguson/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

Twenty-four hours after the official announcement, it appears that West Virginia Mountaineers’ matchup in the 2020 AutoZone Liberty Bowl has already changed.

According to a report filed to ESPN by Chris Lowe, the Tennessee Volunteers have been forced to withdraw from the game after a string of positive COVID-19 tests — including head coach Jeremy Pruitt — and follow-up contact tracing. The Volunteers were tested on Sunday, and got their results back on Monday morning after they had already accepted the invitation to the Memphis-based bowl.

As of time of writing, a contingency plan has not been announced. The ESPN report does offer up the sensible idea of sliding Mississippi State out of the Armed Forces Bowl and into the Liberty Bowl, allowing the 9-2 Army Black Knights to matchup with Tulsa instead.

Mississippi State finished the season with a 3-7 record and last place in the SEC West. West Virginia currently holds a 2-0 all-time record over the Bulldogs.