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NC State receives bid to Holiday Bowl, will face UCLA

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The Pack’s hittin’ the west coast.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 26 North Carolina at NC State Photo by William Howard/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s not the most ideal result for the fanbase, but NC State gets to make the ACC’s debut in the Holiday Bowl this year. The Wolfpack is heading to San Diego in late December to take on the UCLA Bruins, who finished the season 8-4.

When the ACC added the Holiday Bowl to its lineup in 2019, no league school had ever played in the game. That’s still true, or at least will be until Dec. 28. Traditionally, the Holiday Bowl has featured matchups between the Pac-12 and either the Big 12 or Big Ten. The only other east coast school to participate in the game is Navy, which played in the inaugural Holiday Bowl in 1978.

It’s a little history both for the ACC and NC State, which feels like a fitting reward for the team after the regular season it just put together. It’ll be a fun destination for the players, and the game itself will be played at Petco Park.

I’d expect NC State to be favored against the Bruins, and there is definite potential for an exciting game. UCLA finished the regular season with decisive wins over Colorado, USC, and Cal, scoring at least 42 points in all three. Should be fun.