by Twitter / @PetcoPark

A COVID breakout within the UCLA roster forces tonight's Holiday Bowl to no longer proceed at Petco Park.

The UCLA Bruins pulled out of the 2021 Holiday Bowl just hours before kick-off Tuesday evening due to COVID-19 protocols. 

UCLA Athletic Director Martin Jarmond confirmed the decision at around 3:30 Pacific, less than five hours before Petco Park hosted their first nationally-televised bowl game. 

This came as disappointing news for the North Carolina State University Wolfpack, who were looking into getting their tenth win of the season with a Bowl game victory. 

NC State head coach Dave Doeren expressed his frustration in a statement after he heard the news. 

"We felt like UCLA probably knew something was going on with their team and didn't tell anyone on our side. We had no clue they were up against that. I don't think it was very well handled from their university." said Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren. "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 by 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," Doeren added. 

The Holiday Bowl released a statement saying that the association is also not pleased with the turnout this evening but that they are looking into finding a replacement team to compete in the bowl as soon as possible. 

"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. We are working closely with Boo Corrigan and his great athletics staff at NC State., said Mark Neville, CEO of SDCCU Holiday Bowl. 

Tonight's outcome places Holiday Bowl on a list of five bowl games that were forced to cancel its big game due to COVID-19 protocols, joining the list with the Arizona Bowl, Fenway Bowl, Military Bowl, and Hawai'i Bowl. 

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