Ohio State Game Canceled Due to COVID-19 Cases at Maryland
Ohio State's football game at Maryland on Saturday has been canceled due to an elevated number of COVID-19 cases within Maryland's football team. The game will not be rescheduled.
Maryland announced on Wednesday afternoon they were pausing all team-related activites after eight football players tested positive for COVID-19 over the last seven days.
"There is nothing more important than the health and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and staff," said Maryland director of athletics Damon Evans. "We realize that this news is disappointing to all of the Maryland fans out there who were looking forward to the Terps taking on an outstanding Ohio State team, but the responsible thing for us to do is pause football activities, given the number of positive cases currently in our program."
Ohio State football coach Ryan Day said he was disappointed about Saturday's game being canceled, but health is their top priority.
“The health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes is our main concern,” Day said. “Obviously, we are disappointed at not being able to compete this week, but I am incredibly proud of our team and the way they have handled themselves throughout this entire pandemic.
This marks the first cancellation of the season for the Buckeyes, who started the delayed season along with the rest of the Big Ten on October 24 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Southeastern Conference has canceled four games for this weekend since Monday, including contests involving ranked teams Alabama, Texas A&M, Georgia and Auburn. In all, eight games across major college football have been called off this week. Overall, 55 games involving FBS teams have been canceled or postponed since late August.
Ohio State has already played three games so far this shortened season and are ranked third in the country in both major polls. The Buckeyes need to play at least six games to be eligible for the Big Ten Championship game in December.
Ohio State now has an unexpected bye week. Their next game is scheduled for Saturday, November 21 at home against Indiana.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Copyright 2020 WOSU 89.7 NPR News.