USC, UCLA Set to Meet to Open Football Season

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 LOS ANGELES (CNS) - USC and UCLA are scheduled to meet Sept. 26 at the Rose Bowl to open their football seasons under the revised schedule announced by the Pac-12 Conference, although the date could be changed, the universities' athletic directors said.

“Though we are progressing toward the start of our respective seasons, at this time, we do not have the necessary county and state clearances to begin competitions,'' USC athletic director Mike Bohn and UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond said in a joint statement after the schedule was released Friday.

“Our football schedules create the opportunity for us to shift our season-opening contest to open dates later in the season (Oct. 31 and Dec. 12), if necessary. UCLA and USC are in absolute alignment, and we remain in regular communication with state, local and university officials. We will continue to follow their guidance with the utmost regard for the health and safety of our student-athletes.''

In a letter to donors obtained by the Los Angeles Times, Bohn wrote it was “likely'' the game would be moved to a later date.

Games unable to be played can be made up during bye weeks or Dec. 12. USC and UCLA both have a bye Oct. 31.

The schedule was revised and shortened by the Pac-12 to better deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Teams will each play 10 regular-season games, two fewer than usual.

The Sept. 26 start for USC is three weeks later than originally planned and four for UCLA.

The conference announced on July 10 that teams in football and several ther fall sports would only play fellow Pac-12 teams this season because f the coronavirus pandemic, its CEO Group announced today.

 The decision meant the cancellation of USC's scheduled games against labama Sept. 5 in Arlington, Texas, Notre Dame Nov. 28 and New Mexico Sept.12, both at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

 UCLA's scheduled games against New Mexico State Aug. 29 at the RoseBowl, Hawaii Sept. 5 in Honolulu and San Diego State Sept. 19 in San Diego werealso canceled.  A Nov. 7 game against Washington State at the Coliseum has been addedto the nine Pac-12 opponents USC was originally scheduled to face. The 10th Pac-12 opponent UCLA will face is Washington, with the teams meeting Nov. 21 inSeattle.

 The Pac-12 Football Championship Game will be played Dec. 18 or Dec.19 at the home stadium of the team with the best regular-season record. It hadoriginally been scheduled for Dec. 4 at the new Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas,which instead will host the game for the first time in 2021.

 “The schedule and return to play plans provide for maximumflexibility and the best opportunity to play all fall sports in an environmentthat prioritizes safety,'' said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott.

 “At the same time, we will continue to evaluate the best availablescience, data and advice of public health officials as we make decisions andany required adjustments going forward.''

 Here is the announced football schedule for USC:

  Sept. 26 -- at UCLA;

  Oct. 3 -- California;

  Oct 10 -- at Stanford;

  Oct. 17 -- Colorado;

  Oct. 24 -- at Arizona;

  Nov. 7 -- Washington State;

  Nov. 14 -- at Oregon;

  Nov. 21 -- Arizona State;

  Nov. 27 -- at Utah;

  Dec. 5 -- Washington.

  Here is the announced football schedule for UCLA:

  Sept. 26 -- USC;

  Oct. 3 -- at Oregon State;

  Oct 10 -- Washington State;

  Oct. 16 -- Utah;

  Oct. 24 -- at Arizona State;

  Nov. 7 -- Stanford;

  Nov. 14 -- at Colorado;

  Nov. 21 -- at Washington;

  Nov. 28 -- Arizona;

  Dec. 4 -- at California.

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