Cal football set to face UCLA after cancellation of Arizona State game

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It’s been a season of disappointment for Cal fans. From the start, UCLA and USC were left off of the football schedule for the first time since 1933. To make matters worse, the Bears were only able to finalize the date of their season opener Friday after back-to-back canceled matchups. But if it’s any solace for fans, it looks like Cal will face its UC rival after all.

Just hours after Cal football announced its matchup with ASU was canceled due to positive COVID-19 tests from the Sun Devils, the Pac-12 scheduled the Bears to take on the Bruins this Sunday in Pasadena, as UCLA’s opponent, Utah, is unable to field a team.

This is the second straight week that the Utes have canceled their bout as a result of positive COVID-19 tests, for which their contact-traced players are quarantined. This time, Utah reported 17 cases, which holds it under the minimum number of scholarship athletes necessary for game eligibility.

According to ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura, Cal would not have been able to play ASU on Saturday, as the blue and gold have players in quarantine until Sunday. As a result, the Bears’ definitive travel schedule will likely be announced soon: Their matchup at the Rose Bowl is inked in for 9 a.m. Sunday.

2020 has been stressful for its uncertainty, but Cal football players have been primed for these developing circumstances.

“As I’ve told our team many times, the one thing we have learned is to expect the unexpected,” said head coach Justin Wilcox. “We appreciate all of the hard work that everyone has done on so many levels to allow us to play this weekend, and we are thankful the opportunity has arisen to play at UCLA.”

Prepare for college football on NFL Sunday.

Ethan Waters is the sports editor. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @ewate1.