USC-Cal football postponed due to COVID, first in FBS this year

The in-state Pac-12 rivalry game between the USC Trojans and Cal Golden Bears has been postponed due to a COVID breakout on the Cal roster.

This past week, the California Golden Bears were heavily short-handed due to a COVID outbreak without the program, leading to a loss to previously winless Arizona.

The situation with the virus has not improved for Justin Wilcox’s team. In fact, it’s gotten worse to the point that they won’t be able to play in Week 11 in the scheduled Pac-12 showdown with in-state rival USC.

As reported by Jon Wilner and confirmed by others, Cal is unable to field the minimum number of players for Saturday and the matchup against USC football was initially being reported as being canceled:

This would’ve been the first FBS college football game to be canceled by COVID in the 2021 season.

Will Cal be forced to forfeit USC football game?

Last season, when games were canceled due to COVID-19 issues, those contests were essentially written off the schedule as if they were never there. That has changed for the 2021 season, however, as conferences each put protocols in place that could result in forfeits.

So the question was if Cal will be forced to forfeit this game and, as such, lose their chance of making a bowl game by dropping to 3-7. As of now, there is no clarity on that matter as it will be up the Pac-12 Commissioner whether or not the Golden Bears will have to forfeit.

While this game could eliminate Cal from bowl contention, USC football could be helped by a forfeit win. That would bring the Trojans to 5-5 on the season with games against UCLA and BYU left on the schedule.


Cal Athletics released a statement that the game will not be canceled and, instead, will be rescheduled for Dec. 4.

That makes the season a week longer for both programs but it is better than forcing the Golden Bears to forfeit a key conference game for these teams.

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