The Utah Utes at UCLA Bruins football game has been canceled due to COVID-19, the Pac-12 announced on Friday.
The two schools were scheduled to meet at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 14. The game was canceled due to “…Utah not having the minimum number of scholarship players available for the game as a result of a number of positive football student-athlete COVID-19 cases and resulting isolation of additional football student-athletes under contact tracing protocols.”
The game will not be rescheduled and will be considered a no contest.
“Our community is especially hard-hit right now by this virus, and our team and our department have been doing everything possible to follow protocols and avoid the spread of the virus,” said Utah Director of Athletics Mark Harlan. “We were doing very well, day-by-day, and it is extremely difficult for our student-athletes and coaches that they will not be able to compete again this week. We also acknowledge the disappointment for our fans, and we know how upsetting it is for UCLA’s football program. We have maintained close communication with UCLA and we were very hopeful this game would be played. As I have said from the beginning of the pandemic, the well-being and safety of our student-athletes remains our top priority and guides all of our decisions and we are following the recommendations of medical professionals.”
Utah’s game last week at home against the Arizona Wildcats was also canceled. The Utes’ first game of the season is now set for Saturday, Nov. 21 at home against the 20th-ranked USC Trojans (10:30pm ET, ESPN).
“We went into this week knowing it was a day-to-day situation,” said Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham. “We have been doing everything we can under the circumstances to prepare for the game and follow all guidelines and protocols. As is always the case, the health and safety of our student-athletes come first.”
UCLA kicked off their season with a 48-42 loss at Colorado last week. The Bruins are scheduled to return to the gridiron on Friday, Nov. 20 at the 11th-ranked Oregon Ducks.
However, there is a possibility that UCLA will play California this weekend after Cal’s game against Arizona State was also canceled. If they do play, it will likely be on Sunday to allow extra time for transportation and logistics.
“I share in the disappointment felt by our football student-athletes, coaches and staff at the news of the cancellation of our home opener tomorrow against the University of Utah,” UCLA Director of Athletics Martin Jarmond said. “Disappointment aside, there’s no question it was the right decision. The health and safety of Pac-12 student-athletes, coaches and staff remains our guiding principle. As we have said all along, this season is all about remaining flexible, and our team will stay ready to play.”