By SDCN Editor
San Diego, CA–The UCLA Bruins and the North Carolina State Wolfpack have accepted invitations to play in the 43rd annual San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl on December 28.
The teams were announced at an afternoon reception at Coasterra Restaurant on Sunday in San Diego. The UCLA Bruins (8-4) from the Pac-12 Conference and the 18th-ranked NC State Wolfpack (9-3) will face off at the bowl game on December 28 at 5 p.m. It will air on FOX and be the first football game ever played in downtown San Diego’s Petco Park.
This year marks the first time an ACC team has ever played in the SDCCU Holiday Bowl. The bowl game will match teams from the ACC and Pac-12 through at least 2025. The Pac-12 has been represented in every Holiday Bowl since 1998. The last time a current ACC school played in San Diego was in 1992 when the Miami Hurricanes (then in the Big East) defeated San Diego State 63-17. This will be NC State’s first appearance in the Holiday Bowl. UCLA played in the 2012 bowl game, losing to Baylor 49-26.
NC State won four of their last five games, most recently coming from behind to defeat rival North Carolina 34-30. They finished with a 6-3 conference record, good for second place in the ACC’s Atlantic division. UCLA finished tied for second place in the Pac-12’s South division, the Bruins’ best finish since 2014. The Bruins were 3-0 in November, the first time that feat has been accomplished since 1998.
“We could not have asked for a more exciting matchup for the SDCCU Holiday Bowl’s first game in Petco Park,” said Mark Neville, CEO of the Holiday Bowl. “Fans can expect plenty of fireworks on and off the field December 28 and an experience that is second to none.”
“We can’t wait to welcome teams, bands, cheer squads, and fans from NC State and UCLA to San Diego later this month,” said Bob Bolinger, 2021 president of the bowl game association. “Our volunteers, partners, and staff have been working tirelessly to prepare for an incredible game and bowl week experience for all. Buckle your seatbelts, everyone… it’s going to be a wild ride!”
UCLA holds a 2-0 record all-time versus NC State. The last meeting was in 1960. They defeated the Wolfpack 7-0. This is UCLA’s 37th bowl game appearance. They are 16-19-1 all-time with 17 conference championships.
The Bruins have had 327 players drafted by the NFL, including 22 first-round draft picks.
UCLA football has notched 621 wins all-time. A win in the Holiday Bowl ties them with NC State at 622.
Devin Leary’s four passing touchdowns against North Carolina put him at 35 for the season, breaking former San Diego Chargers’ Phillip Rivers’ 34 for the highest single-season mark in Wolfpack history.
This year marks the Wolfpack’s 34th bowl game appearance. They are 17-15-1 all-time with 622 wins. The Wolfpack has had 174 players drafted by the NFL.
Game ticket prices range from $35 to $265 and can be purchased at www.HolidayBowl.com.
For groups of 10 and more, and to learn about suites, hospitality, and opportunities to sit on the field, visit Padres.com/HolidayBowl. Information on Bowl Week events, including the Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade presented by Kaiser Permanente and the Snapdragon Bowl Bash and Concert Benefiting Rady Children’s Hospital.