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Holiday Bowl awards trophy to NC State after failing to find replacement team

The Wolfpack will count this as the 10th win of the season for the program.

A sign of the Holiday Bowl logo during the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl football game between the USC Trojans and the Iowa Hawkeyes on December 27, 2019 at SDCCU Stadium in San Diego, California. Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Update: It seems organizers have not been able to find a replacement team, so NC State will get the trophy for the Holiday Bowl. The Wolfpack will count this game as the 10th win of the season, which makes this the second 10+-win season in program history.

Update: Organizers are searching for a replacement team and have not officially canceled the bowl game. NC State is still in the game as of this moment.

The 2021 Holiday Bowl is being canceled due to COVID-19, per Bruce Feldman. UCLA was scheduled to face NC State in San Diego, but Feldman is reporting UCLA’s defensive line has been “decimated” by COVID-19 issues.

It will be the second-straight Holiday Bowl canceled, as the Southern California tradition was also a victim of COVID-19 last season.

The game was to be a showcase and swan song for Dorian Thompson-Robinson, the Bruins quarterback that has carried Westwood through one of the more turbulent eras in the program’s history. For the Wolfpack, who finished with a 9-3 record and just a few snaps from the ACC Championship Game, it was a reward for another excellent season under head coach Dave Doeren.

Whether NC State might still be able to add an opponent after another bowl game cancelation is still up in the air. The Arizona Bowl and Sun Bowl merged orphaned opponents yesterday, and it seems unlikely this will be the last game to be scrubbed thanks to virus protocols.