Postseason Action At The Frisco Bowl!
#24 San Diego State 38, UTSA 24
Bowl season is a lot of fun for fans of college football. I mean, what’s better than turning the TV on a Tuesday and having a full slate of college football to watch? These aren’t just random matchups, either– they’re between winning teams with something to prove and odd matchups we either don’t normally see or haven’t ever seen before.
It took me five seasons to go a bowl game, four of which were spent in areas with bowl games.
This year, I spent dozens of hours and my most intensive work weeks of my life covering Bowl Season for various outlets. When I saw that 12-1 UTSA was matched up with 11-2 San Diego State in the Frisco Bowl, I knew I had to go. Frisco’s just an hour from my house and Toyota Stadium is a venue I’ve been itching to get to for awhile now.
The pregame festivities varied depending on which side you’re on. UTSA showed up in droves with plenty of tailgating options and even a university-sponsored pep rally pregame.
Bowl games around the country have varying levels of things to do before the game. For example, the Armed Forces Bowl (which I was supposed to be at, but missed due to COVID) offered a tailgate, food trucks, military displays, pep rallies for both teams, mascot displays, and more. It was an all-day feature for the out-of-town folks from West Point, New York, and Columbia, Missouri.
Comparatively, the Frisco Bowl had limited pregame options. If you came to party with the UTSA Roadrunners, you’d disagree here.
Frisco itself is a great American city. It features limitless food options, an upscale suburban feel, an excellent downtown, a premiere shopping square, and close proximity to one of the biggest metro areas in the United States. If there was an ideal place to settle down with a family, Frisco, Texas, is it.
The game itself is held at Toyota Stadium, home of the FC Dallas soccer club and the National Soccer Hall of Fame. It’s a modern facility with lots of good concession options, excellent seating, and a unique layout.
The most fanfare for this game was inside the stadium in the north end zone complex, with plenty of inflatables, games, and sweepstakes options for fans.
San Diego State was dressed in their traditional black-on-black uniforms with what they call their “210” helmets– acrylic reds with an Aztec design printed on it. That design continues through the red shoulder stripes and pant stripes; they’re one of the coolest uniforms in football.
UTSA countered with a grey-on-grey with white lids that, 1) I wasn’t aware they had in the arsenal and 2) I frankly didn’t like.
What I did like from the Roadrunners side was their fans. Not just did they show up in droves– I mean, this was truly a UTSA home game– they were loud. Multiple times the crowd disrupted snap counts, forcing timeouts and false starts. Though we’re in the same state as San Antonio, Frisco is nearly five hours away, hardly local.
The Aztecs showed out for this game, led by All Americans Cameron Thomas and Matt Arazia. The latter isn’t just first team, but just wrapped up a truly historic season punting (one being recorded at over 80 yards, seriously). Ultimately, they cruised to a 38-24 victory that never really seemed close during play. That victory was spearheaded by receiver (maybe? He was No. 45 but SDSU also had two guys in the 90s catching passes) Jesse Matthews, who hauled in 11 passes for 175 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
He also had one of the most athletic plays I’ve seen in real life: