Nov. 13 (UPI) — Shortly after the Pac-12 called off football games involving the UCLA Bruins and California Golden Bears due to the coronavirus, the conference announced that both teams will play each other Sunday at the Rose Bowl.
“The scheduling of this game is consistent with the conference’s commitment to provide opportunities for student-athletes through maximum scheduling flexibility while still prioritizing health and safety,” the Pac-12 said in a statement Friday.
Cal was initially scheduled to play at Arizona State on Saturday, while UCLA was set to host Utah. Those games were canceled because of positive COVID-19 cases and related contact tracing at Arizona State and Utah.
Now, Cal and UCLA will square off at noon EST on Sunday. The game will be televised on Fox Sports One.
“First and foremost, I want to commend our football student-athletes on their flexibility and focus in the midst of a lot of uncertainty,” UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond said in a statement.
“I’d also like to thank Jim Knowlton, Justin Wilcox and the Cal football program, as well as Pac-12 Conference leadership, for working diligently with us to find a way to compete this weekend. It’s an unconventional solution in an unconventional year and we’re excited to host the Bears at the Rose Bowl on Sunday.”
California’s game against Washington was scrapped last week as a result of one COVID-19 case. The Golden Bears were left without multiple players, including their entire defensive line, due to contact tracing related to the positive test result.
UCLA-Cal will be the first regular-season college football game to take place on an NFL Sunday since the 2017 season. There were a pair of Sunday games that year — Akron-Western Michigan and East Carolina-UConn.
As a result of the schedule change, the UCLA-Oregon matchup set for Nov. 20 will instead move to Nov. 21.