Last-ditch efforts to save the 2021 Holiday Bowl officially ended Wednesday as organizers were unable to find a replacement team to face No. 18 NC State.
Due to COVID-19 issues, UCLA withdrew from Tuesday’s scheduled contest in San Diego less than six hours before kickoff at Petco Park.
“Sadly we are announcing that the 2021 SDCCU Holiday Bowl is cancelled,” read a statement posted to social media Wednesday by bowl officials. “… We look forward to coming back in 2022 and putting on one heck of a show!”
NC State, which finished 9-3, issued a statement from athletic director Boo Corrigan on social media along with a photo of Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren holding the Holiday Bowl trophy.
“After exhausting every possibility and contacting numerous schools personally and through the Holiday Bowl, we have no other option than to end our season,” Corrigan said. “As disappointing as this stunning turn of events was, we must not let it diminish the accomplishments of our 2021 football team or forget the moments of joy that they brought us.
“I commend Coach Doeren, his staff and especially our players for making great decisions and doing right things to ensure that they were ready to play every week and all the way until yesterday. I can’t wait to watch them run it back in 2022.”
The Holiday Bowl was the fifth game called off due to COVID-19 concerns, joining the Fenway Bowl, Military Bowl, Hawaii Bowl and Arizona Bowl.
–Field Level Media