Tuesday night’s San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl against the state of North Carolina at Petco Park was canceled due to COVID-19 protocols as part of the Bruins program.
« We are extremely grateful to the Holiday Bowl, the students, the fans, the sponsors, and the residents of San Diego for their support this week, » said Martin Jarmond, UCLA Athletic Director, in a statement that was only 4 1/2 hours before 5pm. start.
“We are deeply disappointed in our young men in the football program who worked extremely hard for this opportunity. My heart goes to you. The health and safety of our students will always be our polar star. ”
The Bruins (8-4) should play in their first bowl game in four years under Kelly against the No. 18 Wolfpack (9-3). It would also be the first soccer game to be played in Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres.
It would also have been the first Bowl appearance for most of the Bruins, including quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and receiver Kyle Philips, a native of San Diego.
« This is a terrible way to end such a great year for this team, » Thompson-Robinson tweeted. “This is a very special group of guys. Many thanks to the Bruin community and everyone else who has continuously supported us. »
The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman tweeted that the Bruins’ defensive line group was in trouble.
SOURCES: Today’s Holiday Bowl between UCLA & NC State is canceled. The Bruins D-Line room has been decimated by Covid issues.
UCLA Senior Defensive Lineman Otito Ogbonia was the first Bruin to officially sign up for the 2022 NFL Draft earlier this month. Ogbonia had proven to be a long-lived player for the Bruins over the past four years, but cited an injury he’d played with throughout the season as the main reason behind his decision to retire from the Holiday Bowl.
Ogbonnia’s expected absence should already test the depth of the Bruins at the position, and the real newbie Jay Toia was expected to take off in his place.
Toia posted a tweet Monday night suggesting the team would play without him: « Good luck to all of my brothers in San Diego who are playing at the Holiday Bowl. Bring the dub back to Westwood !! ”
The Bruins, reportedly 98% vaccinated, attended many Bowl Week celebrations, such as a team trip to Sea World on Christmas Day and a tour of the USS Makin Island Ship on Sunday.
Kelly thought the game was going to take place, but was unwilling to say on Monday afternoon that the team knew.
« It’s an ongoing thing, » said Kelly. “If someone has symptoms, they will be tested.
“We will test the children until they are ready to play. We don’t have final numbers, but what happened is that our unvaccinated players were tested earlier this week, but anyone who has symptoms will be tested after they report they have symptoms. »
The news comes on Tuesday as other college football bowl games across the country have been severely impacted by COVID-19 protocols, some being canceled and others accepting late replacements for teams that had to pull out.
The Rose Bowl, home of the Bruins, is scheduled to host the No. 10 Utah and No. 7 Ohio State in Pasadena on Saturday.
The bowl has canceled the personal media day event, but the game is expected to take place on Tuesday afternoon.
With the Bruins unable to play on Tuesday, the off-season begins with squad management becoming a priority.
Several players have not made public their decisions to return or to vote for the NFL draft.
There is more to this story
Pac-12 Tire Preview: Arizona, USC, UCLA, and COVID are favorites
Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Preview: Our pick for all conference and postseason awards
UCLA’s Chip Kelly expects the Holiday Bowl to go ahead as planned
UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson reflects on his football career
UCLA vs. North Carolina State: Holiday Bowl TV info, scouting report and predictions
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