The Holiday Bowl is the latest bowl to not play as scheduled due to COVID-19 cases.
After Fox Sports reported Tuesday afternoon that UCLA would be unable to play N.C. State because of a lack of defensive linemen, UCLA confirmed that it wouldn't be able to participate in the game set to kick off at 8 p.m. ET.
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 (@PackFootball) December 28, 2021
The Holiday Bowl was set to be played at Petco Park because there is no major football stadium in San Diego. San Diego State has been playing home games in Carson, California. And Petco Park looked good ahead of kickoff.
— Petco Park (@PetcoPark) December 27, 2021
The Holiday Bowl said Wednesday night that it was working to find a replacement team for UCLA and was hoping the game wouldn't get officially canceled.
UPDATE: We do not want to cancel the game officially until we have exhausted every opportunity to find a replacement team, and we are currently working closely with Boo Corrigan and his great staff at @PackAthletics to do so. https://t.co/5tiHqDOIPS
— SDCCU Holiday Bowl (@HolidayBowl) December 29, 2021
If it's officially canceled, the Holiday Bowl becomes the fifth bowl to get canceled due to COVID-19 cases. The Arizona Bowl, Fenway Bowl, Hawaii Bowl, and Military Bowl have also been canceled so far while the Gator Bowl and Sun Bowl each had to find new teams to replace teams that couldn't play.
The Holiday Bowl said more information would be coming soon in an announcement the game wasn't happening Tuesday night. NC State athletic director Boo Corrigan said in a statement that his school had been in touch with "numerous" other schools in the hopes that it could play a game before the end of the season.
— Fred Demarest (@Fred_Demarest) December 28, 2021
The Hawaii Bowl was the first bowl canceled due to the surge in COVID cases because of the Omicron variant and it was canceled a day before it was scheduled to be played. The Holiday Bowl is the first game of bowl season to get canceled on the same day it was set to kick off.
The Arizona Bowl was canceled Monday after Boise State was unable to play because of COVID-19 cases. Central Michigan then moved from the Arizona Bowl to the Sun Bowl to replace Miami after the Hurricanes backed out due to COVID cases. CMU will play Washington State on Friday.
The Gator Bowl was the first bowl game to need a replacement team. Texas A&M backed out of the game last week and was replaced by Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are playing Wake Forest on Friday.
With the Holiday Bowl's cancellation, N.C. State finishes the season 9-3 and UCLA 8-4. The game was also canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.