Ohio State’s game at Illinois on Saturday has been canceled due to additional positive tests for COVID-19 within the Buckeyes’ program on Friday, including head coach Ryan Day. Bucknuts reported on Wednesday that the game was in jeopardy following some players on the team testing positive on Wednesday.
The No. 4 Buckeyes (4-0) have now had two games canceled, including a contest at Maryland that was scheduled for Nov. 14. That game was called off due to several positve tests within the Terrapins’ program.
If Ohio State has either the at Michigan State (Dec. 5) or Michigan (Dec. 12) game canceled, the Buckeyes will be ineligible for the Big Ten Championship Game, because teams are required to play at least six games to make the trip to Indianapolis (unless the average games played per team in the Big Ten falls below six).
After things looked somewhat bleak on Wednesday regarding whether the Ohio State-Illinois game would be played, optimism arose after the Buckeyes were able to practice on Thanksgiving. However, Friday brought the news everyone feared.
Here is the full press release from OSU:
Ohio State / Illinois Football Game Cancelled
Ohio State pauses team-related activities; game was set for noon Saturday at Champaign, Ill.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The football game between No. 3 Ohio State University and the University of Illinois, scheduled for this Saturday at 12 noon (EST) in Champaign, Ill., has been cancelled by Ohio State University after further positive tests for the coronavirus were discovered after a round of PCR testing this afternoon.
The Department of Athletics has paused all team-related football activities. The decision to cancel and pause was made jointly by Director of Athletics Gene Smith, University President Kristina M. Johnson, head team physician Dr. Jim Borchers and in consultation with the Big Ten Conference.
“We have continued to experience an increase in positive tests over the course of this week,” Smith said. “The health, safety and well-being of our student-athlete is our main concern, and our decisions on their welfare will continue to be guided by our medical staff.”
The program will resume its team activities when its medical staff determines it is safe to do so based on protocols established by the Big Ten Conference.
Bucknuts will have more on this developing story.
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2020 OHIO STATE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE (Kickoff times TBA unless otherwise noted)
Oct. 24: Nebraska [Final score: Ohio State 52, Nebraska 17]
Oct. 31: at Penn State [Ohio State 38, Penn State 25]
Nov. 7: Rutgers [Ohio State 49, Rutgers 27]
Nov. 14: at Maryland — [Canceled]
Nov. 21: Indiana [Ohio State 42, Indiana 35]
Nov. 28: at Illinois — [Canceled]
Dec. 5: at Michigan State
Dec. 12: Michigan — 12 p.m. ET (FOX)
Dec. 19: Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis, Ind.