Canceled: San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl
UCLA and No. 18 North Carolina State will meet on Tuesday night in the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl in San Diego. The game can be seen at 8 PM ET on Fox.
UCLA had a resurging season under Chip Kelly, finishing 8-4 overall and 6-3 in the PAC-12. The Bruins got a big early win against LSU and demolished rival USC 62-33. They also pushed Oregon to the brink before a game-sealing interception.
UCLA's offense is led by dual-threat quarterback Dorin Thompson-Robinson and Michigan transfer running back Zach Charbonnet. Thompson-Robinson has been the starting quarterback since he was a freshman and has had his best year as a senior. He has over 3,000 total yards this year with 30 total touchdowns. Charbonnet joined the team in the offseason as a transfer from Michigan and became an All-Pac-12 player with 1,137 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground. Receiver Kyle Phillips and TE Greg Dulcich are the top two targets in the passing game.
Defensively, the Bruins do not allow a ton of points or yardage, but there have been games where opposing offenses had their way-- like Utah and Arizona State. Those are two teams that have balanced strategies and the playmakers to go with it, and UCLA is facing another team like that in NC State.
North Carolina State finished the season with a 9-3 record and just missed out on the ACC Championship game. The offense scores 33.1 points per game and has a great trio of weapons on offense, which is why I said they could give the UCLA defense trouble. QB Devin Leary has thrown for 3,433 yards and 35 touchdowns with just five interceptions, firmly putting himself in NFL conversations. He has two running backs to lean on in Zonovan Knight and Ricky person Jr, who each have over 600 rushing yards on the season, and a stud wide receiver in Emeka Emezie.
On defense, the stats show that NC State does not give up a ton of yardage or points, but they have struggled against the best offenses they've faced. Miami, Wake Forest, and North Carolina all scored more than 30 points against the Wolfpack, and Mississippi State controlled the game back in September.
UCLA's offense provides a unique challenge to the NC State defense with its fast pace and ability to core quickly and in bunches. NC State is going to need to exploit the UCLA defense and use its balance as an advantage.
Update: This game has been canceled due to COVID-19 issues within the UCLA program.