NC State football’s Holiday Bowl matchup with UCLA, set for 8 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Dec. 28, was canceled just hours before kickoff due to COVID-19 protocols within the Bruins’ program, according to a statement from UCLA on Twitter.
The UCLA football team is unable to participate in tonight’s San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl due to COVID-19 protocols within the Bruins’ program. pic.twitter.com/rHXEmGv9gl— UCLA Football (@UCLAFootball) December 28, 2021
"Heartbroken to not be able to compete one more time this season. We were informed a short time ago that our opponent would be unable to play this evening," NC State football said in a Tweet.
Bruce Feldman, a reporter for FOX Sports and writer at The Athletic, first reported the cancellation at 3:15 on the day of the game, saying UCLA’s D-line had been “decimated by Covid issues.”
The bowl game would have given NC State a chance at its first ever 10-win season, and second ever double-digit win season.
6:52 p.m. PST update:
Holiday Bowl CEO Mark Neville released the following statement: "The entire SDCCU Holiday Bowl family is heartbroken that we were not able to play the bowl game tonight. We do not want to cancel the game officially until we have exhausted every opportunity to find a replacement team, and we are working closely with Boo Corrigan and his great athletics staff at NC State."
Dec. 29, 7:41 a.m. PST update:
With the bowl unable to find NC State a new opponent, the 2021 Holiday Bowl was canceled Wednesday morning. Neville and 2021 Holiday Bowl President Bob Bolinger released a joint statement:
"Sadly we are announcing that the 2021 SDCCU Holiday Bowl is cancelled. We worked closely with Boo Corrigan and the fantastic NC State Athletics staff to try and find a replacement team for UCLA, but were unable to do so. We are especially heartbroken for the Student Athletes and, of course, our RedCoat and RedShirt volunteers and staff who spent so much time and effort into planning an incredible festival of events, culminating in a premier bowl game.
"We are so lucky to have tremendous relationships with our title sponsor - San Diego County Credit Union, FOX Sports, our civic and other sponsor partners and, of course, our fans. We also want to acknowledge and thank the San Diego Padres and the Petco Park staff for taking us in and transforming the ballpark into a world-class football facility. We look forward to coming back in 2022 and putting on one heck of a show!"
Dec. 29, 8:41 a.m. PST update:
Athletics Director Boo Corrigan released the following statement: