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UCLA pulled out of the Holiday Bowl hours before kickoff and NC State isn't happy about it

The Wolfpack were unaware UCLA was having virus issues until the game was canceled, less than five hours before kickoff.

The Holiday Bowl became the fifth bowl canceled so far in the 2021-22 season, but the San Diego-based event may have set the record for the shortest amount of time between the announcement and scheduled kickoff. UCLA announced it would not play at 3:30 p.m. ET; the game was scheduled to kick at 8.

"I think Dave will tell you it’s about ongoing thing," UCLA head coach Chip Kelly said Tuesday. "If someone comes down with symptoms later on this afternoon they will get tested. We will test kids up until game time. We have our fingers crossed... our mindset is if we have 11 we will play.” 

Reportedly, the Bruins did not have the numbers necessary along the defensive line in order to safely play the game. Also reportedly, UCLA's virus outbreak began during the team's bowl week excursion to Sea World.

Either way, NC State, UCLA, Fox and other entities spent their Christmas in San Diego for nothing.

"Felt lied to, to be honest," NC State head coach Dave Doeren said. "We felt like UCLA probably knew something was going on, didn't tell anybody on our side. We had no clue they were up against that. I don't feel like it was very well handled from their university. It would have been great to have had a heads up so two or three days ago we could have found a Plan B. Disappointing."

"We are extremely grateful to the Holiday Bowl, students, fans, sponsors and the people of San Diego for their support this week," UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond said. "We are deeply disappointed for our young men in the football program that worked extremely hard for this opportunity. My heart goes out to them. The health and safety of our students will always be our North Star."

It's anyone's guess how expenses will be covered for NC State's cross-country trip with no game played. The ACC was to receive a $6.5 million payout that would have covered NC State's trip, but with no game for Fox to sell ads against, it remains to be seen how the payout will be handled.

More pressing for Doeren and company, the Wolfpack went from a chance to win 10 games for the second time in school history, to flying to San Diego for no reason, and had to process that reality four and a half hours before kickoff.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.