Going bowling: Virginia facing off against SMU in the Wasabi Fenway Bowl

The game will be played at 11:00 a.m. on December 29th

Virginia quarterback Brennan Armstrong (5) runs for extra yardage during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday Nov 27, 2021, in Charlottesville, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) (Steve Helber, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ROANOKE, Va. – It was announced Sunday that Virginia will be playing in the Wasabi Fenway Bowl in Boston on December 29th. The Cavaliers will battle the SMU Mustangs.

This will be the first-ever meeting between SMU and Virginia and first AAC opponent for the Cavaliers since facing Navy in the 2017 Military Bowl.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to coach my team one more time and it will be a remarkable experience to play a bowl game at Fenway Park,” head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “There are a handful of sporting arenas in the country that are as unique, historic and beloved as Fenway Park. So, the idea of coaching my last game at Virginia at a place like Fenway Park, I really like that.”

Virginia started the season strong behind a dynamic offense that flaunts talent, including quarterback Brennan Armstrong. They toted a 6-2 record after winning four straight ACC games. Things took a turn on the road at BYU where they loss the game and more importantly they loss quarterback Brennan Armstrong to injury. Despite returning two games later against Pitt, UVA went winless in November with losses to Notre Dame, Pitt and rival Virginia Tech.

SMU will be playing its 19th bowl game in program history, after ending the season with an 8-4 record overall, going 4-4 in AAC play. The Mustangs were ranked in the top 25 for five weeks in 2021, reaching as high as No. 16, and feature one of the nation’s top offenses, led by record-setting quarterback Tanner Mordecai.

The Cavaliers (6-6) were bowl eligible for the 5th time in six seasons under coach Bronco Mendenhall. Like many, UVA opted out of a bowl game in 2020. This will be the final game that Bronco Mendenhall will coach the Cavaliers after announcing he’s stepping down earlier this week.

About the Author:

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.