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Game on? UCLA’s next two scheduled opponents dealing with coronavirus issues

UCLA coach Chip Kelly looks on from the sideline against California.
UCLA coach Chip Kelly.
(Katelyn Mulcahy / Getty Images)

After three schedule releases, a season twice delayed and a replacement game arranged in a little more than an hour, UCLA may be on the verge of its greatest uncertainty in 2020.

The Bruins’ final two games on their schedule are highly endangered.

UCLA is supposed to play Arizona State on Dec. 5 at Sun Devil Stadium in what would amount to the Sun Devils’ home opener. Arizona State has not played since its season opener against USC on Nov. 7 at the Coliseum because of a sustained COVID-19 outbreak that ensnared players and coach Herm Edwards.

The Sun Devils (0-1) practiced Wednesday for the first time since Nov. 11. They have been forced to cancel three games, including one against Utah that had been scheduled for Saturday, but are hoping to return next weekend against the Bruins.

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UCLA’s rivalry game against USC on Dec. 12 is also imperiled. The Trojans had three players test positive for the coronavirus over the last week, leading to the cancellation of their game against Colorado after contact tracing protocols led to other players being placed in quarantine.

It was not known how long the Trojans would remain short-handed or whether they would be able to play Washington State in a game scheduled for Dec. 4 The Cougars have been unable to play their last two games because of COVID-19 issues.

The new stay-at-home order issued by Los Angeles County health officials that’s scheduled to take effect Monday does not appear to jeopardize the UCLA-USC game even though it prohibits all public and private gatherings among individuals not in the same household.

Barbara Ferrer, the L.A. County public health director, issued a statement to ESPN on Saturday saying that the county remained aligned with state health protocols that do not bar college sports games.

A spokesperson for the City of Pasadena, whose health department governs procedures for games at the Rose Bowl, said the city should announce Monday how it would modify its health orders in the wake of L.A. County’s new guidelines.

UCLA and USC have played each other in football in every year since 1935.

See you soon?

Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson was among the Bruins who remained out Saturday for a second consecutive game because of contact tracing related to two positive COVID-19 tests on the team, leaving him to offer support from afar.

“BEAT THE CATS!!” Thompson-Robinson tweeted before the game against Arizona at the Rose Bowl.

Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller becomes the first woman to play in a Power 5 college football game when she kicks off to start the second half vs. Missouri.

UCLA was also without linebacker Kain Medrano; safety Quentin Lake; receivers Jaylen Erwin and Delon Hurt; and running backs Martell Irby, Kazmeir Allen and Keegan Jones.

Any players placed into 14-day quarantine as a result of contact tracing should be cleared to return for the Bruins’ game against Arizona State, assuming they continued to test negative for the virus.

On the board

UCLA redshirt freshman Nicholas Barr-Mira converted his first college field goal attempt when he made a 31-yarder late in the first quarter. He added a 30-yarder in the second quarter to extend UCLA’s lead over Arizona to 20-7.


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