Texas Bowl cancellation brings Arkansas’ season to an end

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NWA Democrat-Gazette/CHARLIE KAIJO A helmet is shown Saturday, October 12, 2019 before a football game at Kroger Field in Lexington, Ky. Visit nwadg.com/photos to see more photographs from the game.

SHREVEPORT, La (KMSS/KTAL) – One of the goals for first-year Head Coach Sam Pittman’s Arkansas Razorbacks was to make a bowl game.

The Razorbacks did just that, earning a spot in the 2020 Mercari Texas Bowl. Unfortunately, the Hogs will not get a chance to play in that bowl game as a COVID outbreak among their opponent, the TCU Horned Frogs has canceled the contest.

“We are very disappointed not to get the opportunity to compete again as a team. We were excited and wanted to go play TCU in the Texas Bowl, but we certainly understand the issues in the TCU program.” Pittman said in a statement.

The first-year head coach did specify the Razorbacks were healthy and ready to go to Houston.

“We had no positive tests from yesterday and were ready to go to Houston this afternoon with a healthy team. Our team and our student-athletes have sacrificed a lot over the last several months, including over the holidays, so this is a tough way to end our season. I’m so proud of our team for fighting and handling themselves through adversity all year.”

Arkansas Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek also released a statement.

“We are disappointed that our student-athletes will not have an opportunity to compete against TCU in the Mercari Texas Bowl. In what has been one of the most unusual seasons in college football history, our student-athletes made incredible sacrifices and earned the opportunity to safely compete in 10 games during the 2020 football season.”

Yurachek also thanked SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, his staff, and the Arkansas medical team for their efforts during the 2020 season. He closed the statement by saying the team looks forward to taking the field in 2021.

While the season comes to a disappointing end there is plenty to be excited about heading into year two of the Pittman era. With a win over Mississippi State this year the Razorbacks won their first SEC contest since 2017 and earned their first win over a ranked opponent since defeating Florida in 2016. The program’s three SEC victories are tied for their most since 2016 as well.

The Razorbacks will return to the field in 249 days as they’ll open up their 2021 schedule at home against the Rice Owls.

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