Just hours after the Pac-12 canceled separate games involving California and UCLA, the conference announced the 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.
Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. ET, and will be televised on FS1.
Cal was originally scheduled to play at Arizona State, while UCLA was set to host Utah. Those games were cancelled due to positive cases of COVID-19 and related contact tracing for both Arizona State and Utah.
“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 Jarmound 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.”
Cal’s game against Washington was canceled last week as a result of contact tracing protocols related to one positive case of COVID-19. The Golden Bears were without several players, including the entire defensive line, which was not expected to be able to exit quarantine until Sunday.
It’s unclear when the Bears will travel to Pasadena, however due to the early kickoff it’s likely to happen on Saturday, before the players are scheduled to exit quarantine.
“We have known from the beginning of this pandemic that there could be challenges this season and that we would need to remain flexible and find ways to be creative while still keeping the health and safety of our student-athletes as our No. 1 priority,” Cal athletic director Jim Knowlton said in a statement. “This has certainly been an emotional rollercoaster for those in our program, particularly our student-athletes, but we need to remain as diligent as ever and proceed within federal, state and local protocols. We are appreciative of the work from all involved to be able to play this game on short notice.”
As a result of the scheduling change, the UCLA-Oregon game scheduled for Nov. 20, will take place on Nov. 21.