Clemson, Iowa State ready for Cheez-It Bowl matchup despite COVID surge

Clemson and Iowa State's football teams will battle it out at the Cheez-It Bowl on Wednesday. 

"We're thankful, grateful and blessed that we were able to play one more game," Clemson head coach Dabo Swiney said on Tuesday.

Clemson will be without three players because of COVID. 

Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell says his team is good to go for kickoff, and as of Tuesday evening, the Cyclones have no players in COVID protocols.

Both Clemson and Iowa State are relatively lucky.

The Holiday Bowl cancellation was the fifth college football postseason cancellation this year. 

"You see the time and the effort that so many people have put into making this function go off, to not have those experiences occur especially so late in the game is so hard," Campbell said. 

Unlike last year, Camping World Stadium is open to full capacity.

Precautions are in place. 

The City of Orlando said in a statement:

"All stadium staff working the bowl games will be wearing face coverings. All fans attending the bowl games are encouraged to wear face coverings regardless of vaccination status. Camping World Stadium has an abundant supply of hand sanitizer that is readily available throughout the building."

Florida Citrus Sports CEO Steve Hogan is expecting about 40,000 fans to fill the stands on Wednesday. 

"I think this is a pandemic that’s not going to leave us. It’s something we’re going to need to figure out how to manage and manage safely," Hogan said. 

The game starts at 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday.

Sports reporter Jessica Eley will bring live reports Wednesday night.