Clemson vs. Florida State game postponed hours before kickoff

Sam Cooper
·4-min read

The game between No. 4 Clemson and Florida State has been postponed.

The ACC announced the news on Saturday morning, a mere three hours before the game was scheduled to kick off at noon ET. The ACC said the status of the game changed early Saturday after a conference call “at which time both teams’ medical personnel were unable to mutually agree on moving forward with the game.”

ACC protocols require teams to be tested for the coronavirus the day before the game, so both Florida State and Clemson were tested Friday. Once the test results are received, both schools get on a call with the ACC to finalize whether or not they intend to proceed with the game.

Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel is reporting that a Friday test came back positive for one Clemson player who traveled to Tallahassee with the team. Florida State officials were not comfortable playing after learning about Clemson’s positive test.

A source told Thamel that Clemson was open to moving the game to Sunday or Monday, but FSU did not agree.

In a statement, Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich expressed disappointment that the game would not proceed.

“We are disappointed that we will not be able to play today’s game against Florida State. Clemson has followed all of the ACC's protocol in preparation for this game,” Radakovich said. “We now look ahead to returning to action next week against Pitt for Senior Day and Military Appreciation Day at Memorial Stadium.”

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who missed his team’s last two games after testing positive for COVID-19, said the Tigers were “ready to play.”

Florida State released a statement from head coach Mike Norvell, who said FSU hopes to play Clemson “in December.” Whether that comes to fruition remains to be seen. Clemson has a game at Virginia Tech scheduled for Dec. 5 and an opening on Dec. 12. But with the ACC title game — and a potential rematch with Notre Dame — set for Dec. 19, it’s unclear whether the conference would try to add a game in between.

“Our first priority is the health of our student-athletes, and I appreciate the protocols that have been put in place by FSU and the ACC to ensure everyone’s health while allowing us to play this season,” Norvell said. “It’s unfortunate that we will not have the opportunity to compete today, but we hope to be able to play Clemson in December. I am thankful for the support and coordination between our administration, Clemson and the ACC office. Our team will now turn our focus to hosting Virginia next week.”

The Clemson-FSU game is the 18th game of Week 12 to either be canceled or postponed.

Saturday's Clemson at Florida State game was postponed just hours before kickoff. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Saturday's Clemson at Florida State game was postponed just hours before kickoff. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

Other ACC scheduling adjustments

Following the announcement about the game in Tallahassee, the ACC revealed several other future scheduling adjustments.

The Louisville at Boston College that had been moved to Dec. 12 will now be played on Nov. 22. Another Louisville game, its home game against Wake Forest, has been moved from Nov. 28 to Dec. 19.

Additionally, the Wake Forest vs. Duke game scheduled for this weekend has now been canceled. The game had been moved to Dec. 19.

“The decision to forgo playing Wake Forest on December 19 was made with the health and safety of our players and staff as the priority,” said Duke head coach David Cutcliffe. “In this unique semester with ever-changing circumstances, notwithstanding the recent surge in positive COVID-19 cases nationally, we deemed it appropriate to adhere to our original timeline and allow the student-athletes to return home for the first time since mid-July following our game versus Florida State on December 5.

“To this point in the season, our players have been explicitly compliant, and continuing their isolated housing conditions without academic nor social settings for an additional two weeks would not be appropriate in this unsettling time. At Duke, we strive to provide an elite student-athlete experience and while this decision eliminates an opportunity for competition, we feel it is one with the best interests of every member of our program at the forefront.”

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