California game against Washington called off due to COVID-19 issues

The opening college football weekend of the Pac-12 season just got smaller.

Saturday's scheduled game between California and Washington has been canceled, the conference announced Thursday.

In a release, the Pac-12 said Cal had requested the move because the team could not meet the minimum requirement of scholarship players for the game due to the number of positive COVID-19 cases among its players.

The game will be not be rescheduled and will be declared a no contest.

"The health and well-being of our student-athletes is always at the forefront of our decision making," California athletic director Jim Knowlton said in a statement. "We have been diligent in the development and execution of our return-to-play plan, and our goal all along has been to provide a safe environment and to mitigate risk as much as possible."

Calfiornia quarterback Chase Garbers runs with the ball chased by Washington linebacker Joe Tryon during their 2019 game at Husky Stadium. (Photo: Jennifer Buchanan, USA TODAY Sports)

There will now be five Pac-12 games this weekend. The league had pushed its opening back later than any Bowl Subdivision league due to the challenges of playing during the pandemic. 

Each school was scheduled to play seven games on consecutive weekends, leaving no room for changes if teams were unable to play due the conference protocols in place to ensure player safety.

Washington and California will now play just five games before the Pac-12 championship game, leaving with with one fewer than others competing in the North division.

The Huskies are schedule to host Oregon State in their next game on Nov. 14. The Golden Bears, health permitting, will play at Arizona State on the same day.

Every conference has been impacted by coronavirus cancellations or postponements this season. Games scheduled for Saturday in the Big Ten, ACC, American and Conference USA have also been impacted.

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