Cal Will Play UCLA This Sunday Morning

Cal beat UCLA last seasonPhoto by John Hefti - USA TODAY Sports

Jake Curtis

After the smoke had cleared from all the cancellations and discussions it was decided on Friday afternoon that Cal would face UCLA in a 9 a.m. game on Sunday, Nov. 15, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

The game will be televised on Fox Sports 1. The UCLA at Oregon game, which had been scheduled for Friday, Nov. 20, will move to Saturday, Nov. 21, at a time to be announced. Cal is scheduled to play Oregon State on the road next Saturday afternoon, Nov. 21, so that game presumably is unaffected.

The Pac-12 on Friday issued the following statement regarding the recently scheduled Cal at UCLA football game:

“The Pac-12 announced today that Cal will now play at UCLA on Sunday, November 15 at 9:00am PT. 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 announcement follows the cancellation of each of the Cal at Arizona State game and the Utah at UCLA game earlier today. The Cal at UCLA game will air on Fox Sports 1.

In light of the Sunday scheduling of this game, the Conference has rescheduled the UCLA at Oregon game currently scheduled to take place on Friday evening, November 20 to Saturday, November 21, with the exact game time to be announced as soon as confirmed. The game will air on the ESPN family of networks.”

Cal was scheduled to play Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz., on Saturday night, and UCLA was scheduled to play a home game against Utah the same day. But both those games were canceled because of virus-related issues at Utah and Arizona State. Cal has received clearance from Berkeley public health officials to play on Sunday.

Here is a statement from Cal athletic director Jim Knowlton:

"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. 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."

Here is a statement from Cal head coach Justin Wilcox:

"We have known since the pandemic began that the 2020 college football season would be different from any other. As I've told our team many times, the one thing we have learned is to expect the unexpected. 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."

UCLA has already played a game this season, losing to Colorado 48-42, and this will be Cal's opener, after last week's game against Washington was canceled. Cal and UCLA were not scheduled to meet based on the seven-game 2020 schedule, but now they will.

You may excuse former Cal star Evan Weaver, now on the Arizona Cardinals practice squad, for his hesitancy:

It remains unclear whether all the Cal defensive linemen who were part of the contact tracing protocol that led to the cancellation of last week's Cal-Washington game will be available for the UCLA contest. But since Cal has been cleared by Berkeley Public Health to play a game on Sunday, presumably all or most of those players will be available to play Sunday.

Cal beat UCLA 28-18 last year at the Rose Bowl in the Bears' regular-season finale. Cal quarterback Chase Garbers passed for 230 yards with one touchdown pass and one interception, and Christopher Brown Jr. rushed for 111 yards and two scores.

UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson passed for 278 yards but had minus-34 yards rushing becasue he was sacked six times.

Against Colorado last week, Thompson-Robinson had a big game, with 303 passing yards, four touchdown passes and one pick to go along with 109 rushing yards as the Bruins churned out 478 yards of total offense.

However, UCLA gave up 525 yards to Colorado, and the Bruins committed four turnovers.

Here is a statement from UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond:

"First and foremost, I want to commend our football student-athletes on their flexibility and focus in the midst of a lot of uncertainty. 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."

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