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Several UCLA players will miss Holiday Bowl due to COVID-19

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NCAA Football: Louisiana State at UCLA Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

This latest surge of COVID-19 has made this month feel like a re-run of last winter, and no sport has been able to avoid setbacks. (Thank goodness we have vaccines this time around.)

College football’s bowl season has already seen multiple cancelations, and when the first UCLA player announced last week that he’d be missing the Holiday Bowl because of COVID, it was difficult not to wonder about the status of the game. But both teams are in San Diego, the game is still on as of Monday morning, and as far as I’m aware the only COVID issues have been within UCLA’s program.

The Bruins will be missing at least a few players due to COVID protocols, including defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight, who leads the team with 66 tackles and 8.5 tackles for loss. UCLA will also be without offensive guard Atonio Mafi, who is primarily a reserve but did make three starts during the regular season. Reserve running back Ethan Fernea and reserve defensive lineman Tony Manoa also appear unlikely to play.

The defense is also missing Otito Ogbonnia, who is banged up and anyhow declared for the NFL Draft—Ogbonnia is sixth on the team with 5.0 TFLs.