Release from WVU Athletics:
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The AutoZone Liberty Bowl has announced that Army West Point will replace Tennessee as the opponent for West Virginia in the 62nd game at Liberty Bowl Stadium on Thursday, Dec. 31 at 4 p.m., ET.
Tennessee was unable to fulfill its commitment to play in the game when it paused all football activities. Army finished the 2020 season with a 9-2 record and won its last three games and seven of its last eight. Their two losses were to nationally ranked Cincinnati and Tulane.
Jeff Monken is in his seventh year at Army West Point and has posted a 49-38 mark, including two seasons with 10 or more wins. He is 85-54 overall in 11 seasons, including a four-year stint at Georgia Southern.
This will be Army’s first time in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, and West Virginia will be making its third appearance. The Mountaineers faced Utah in the 1964 game played in the Atlantic City Convention Center. It was the first college bowl game played indoors (pre- Astrodome). West Virginia played Texas A&M in the 2014 AutoZone Liberty.
This will be the third meeting between the two teams. They last played in 1961, and Army holds a 2-1 series advantage.
Shane Lyons – WVU Director of Athletics
“The opponent might have changed, but that’s it. As I said before, the Mountaineers are looking forward to playing in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl and coming to Memphis,” WVU Director of Athletics Shane Lyons said. “Our team deserves to be in a bowl and so does the 9-2 Army squad. While we are disappointed that Tennessee couldn’t be in the game, Army needed a bowl and an opponent, and the Mountaineers are glad to solve the problem. Even though the two teams have not played since 1961, we are honored to face the Black Knights in a tradition rich bowl game.”
Neal Brown – WVU Football Coach
“I have great respect for the Army football tradition and the sacrifice the Cadets make daily for our country. Coach Monken and his staff have done a terrific job at West Point with 43 wins in the last five years,” WVU Coach Neal Brown said. “We started the day preparing for one opponent and will end it preparing for another but that’s how crazy 2020 has been.”