Holiday Bowl from San Diego tonight at 8 pits N.C. State against UCLA

Wolfpack Aims for 10th Win in Holiday Bowl

SAN DIEGO, CALIF. – When the Wolfpack football team takes the field for its seventh bowl game in the last nine seasons Tuesday night, NC State will be looking to accomplish something only one other Wolfpack squad has done in the 130-plus year history of Wolfpack football.

That is to win 10 games in a single season.

The Pack goes aims for history in reaching double digit wins in the 2021 San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl against UCLA. The game will kick off at 8 p.m. (ET), and will be televised on FOX.

“It’s a chance to go play against a team that we obviously have not played against since I’ve been here, a team with a lot of history behind them in UCLA,” said NC State head coach Dave Doeren. “I think it’s going to be a good matchup. I’m excited to get to know them and see what their team is all about. I know they’ve done a great job this year.

Only one team in school history has ever posted double-digit wins. Chuck Amato’s 2002 squad pisted an 11-3 mark, behind junior QB Philip Rivers (who spent 13 seasons with the San Diego Chargers).

“The 10th win is very meaningful to this staff, to this team and to our football family,” said Doeren. “It’s a legacy thing. These seniors want to say that they were one of only two teams in 130-plus years of football that were able to accomplish that. It’s very meaningful.

“There’s a lot of other reasons to win the game. But that’s one of the things, when you talk about the big picture of winning the 10th game.”

NC State does not have many ties to the West Coast, or playing Pac 12 teams. The opponent and bowl pairings have been a welcome break from recent bowl traditions.

“We’re on FOX and it’s a nationally televised game in the evening against a team that has an incredible tradition in UCLA,” said Doeren. “It’s a great opportunity to get to a different place on the map, somewhere a long way from here and create some exposure for the ACC out in California.”

NC State arrived in San Diego on Dec. 23. Off the field activities have included a trip to the San Diego, Sea World, and a tour of a Naval Ship.

“You’ve got to go get ready to win a game and balance your fun to work ratio that you have,” said Doeren. “These guys have been phenomenal. For two years this team has been together pretty much, and it’ll be nice to have a four- or five-day window to go do something special with them.”

NC State and UCLA have met just twice on the football field. In both 1959 and 1960, the Wolfpack traveled cross country to play the Bruins at LA Memorial Coliseum. UCLA took both contests, 21-12 in 1959 and 7-0 in 1960.

I look forward to it,” said Doeren. “I know our guys are excited, and we look forward to getting ready to play.”

Petco Park Football Field (courtesy N.C. State Athletics)


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