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Music City Bowl canceled after virus sidelines Missouri

By The Associated Press

The Music City Bowl between Missouri and Iowa was canceled Sunday because COVID-19 issues left the Tigers unable to play.

The Nashville, Tennessee-based game scheduled for Wednesday is the second bowl called off since the postseason lineup was set on Dec. 20, joining the Gasparilla Bowl.

Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk said in a statement the football team had a "significant increase in positive COVID-19 tests among our student-athletes, coaches and staff" since the end of the regular season.

Overall, 18 bowl games scheduled to be played this season have been canceled.

Missouri is the third Southeastern Conference team that has had to pull out of its bowl game, joining Tennessee and South Carolina.

Army was able to replace Tennessee in the Liberty Bowl against West Virginia to salvage that game. South Carolina's COVID-19 issues left UAB without an opponent in the Gasparilla Bowl.

Iowa was left in the same situation, with no short-notice replacement available.

"I am disappointed that we were not able to finish the season against a tremendous opponent in the TransPerfect Music City Bowl later this week," Missouri coach Eliah Drinkwitz said. "I am extremely proud of the fight and resiliency that our players have shown throughout this challenging season. This is the eighth time in 11 games we've been faced with a schedule adjustment, but we've been able to fight through and finish while competing at a very high level throughout the season, which I believe shows the true character of our team."

The Music City Bowl seemed to be in danger last week because Iowa paused football activities due to COVID-19 cases, but the Hawkeyes resumed practice this weekend.

Iowa (6-2) got all eight of its scheduled regular-season games in before having first its championship weekend Big Ten matchup against Michigan canceled and now its bowl.

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Updated December 27, 2020

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