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FAU's 2020 Opener vs Georgia Southern Postponed

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Just 28 hours before kickoff, Florida Atlantic has postponed their season opener at Georgia Southern following an increase in COVID-19 positives in the program.

FAU football had 11 positive cases as of Monday, all of whom being student-athletes. The team cancelled contact practice the following day, electing to work out in the weight-room instead.

The team returned to the Schmidt Center practice field on Wednesday, as university health officials and the football program worked together to conduct contact tracing.

A source within the program claimed that the expectation was for FAU to play on Saturday, on the condition that there were no further influx of positive COVID-19 cases.

Further tests were conducted on Thursday, which resulted in multiple new COVID-19 positive results Friday morning. The FAU Athletic Department reached out to Georgia Southern soon after, asking to postpone Saturday's game.

The two departments have been communicating about their situations since at least Monday, when the first positive tests were confirmed in Boca Raton.

Newly tapped Georgia Southern Athletic Director Jared Benko said "After completing additional testing and contact tracing, FAU contacted us again today to confirm they will not be playing tomorrow."

An FAU spokesperson said the call was made after "it was determined the Owls would be unable to play Saturday."

A source inside the program said that FAU would try everything in their power to play the first game of the Willie Taggart era Saturday. Such change of course at the eleventh hour implies that the number of positive cases within the program are at numbers that would not allow FAU to field a competitive team.

Both programs are attempting to reschedule the game for a later date. October 17th is the only open weekend both programs share, although the Eagles play rival and Sun Belt Conference favorites Appalachian State the Wednesday before.

December 5th remains an option (Adam Rittenberg, ESPN). The only way FAU and Georgia Southern will play on the 5th of December is if neither program is in their respective conference championship game.

Although this is Willie Taggart's first year as Head Coach in Boca Raton, winning the East Division title and earning a spot in the conference championship game is a publicly stated goal. The Owls are hoping to become the first back-to-back C-USA Champions since Western Kentucky's reign in 2015-2016.

FAU players are not shying away from expressing their disappointment. Nick Tronti, who was announced as the starting quarterback this week, tweeted multiple crying emojis as the news broke.

Defensive Coordinator Jim Leavitt also chimed in on Twitter, saying that he is "torn up in a big way. Many emotions all over the place."

Despite the heartbreak, FAU is being applauded for putting the health of their student-athletes ahead of the desire to finally hit the gridiron.

As of the time of this posting, FAU is now scheduled to open the 20th season in program history against in-state rival USF. It is unknown if the FAU Athletic Department is in contact with their counterparts in Tampa regarding any changes to the game.

USF had several positive COVID-19 tests last week before their season opener against The Citadel. First year Head Coach Jeff Scott claims that several of his players will be inactive in this weekend's tilt at Notre Dame due to COVID-19 protocols.

The Owls were so close, just to set the clock back again.

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UPDATE: Georgia Southern AD as told members of the Statesboro media that a tentative make-up date has been set up for December 5th. Again, this would require that neither team make their respective conference championship.

We're looking to confirm this within FAU.

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Jack D Whidden III said

UPDATE: Georgia Southern AD as told members of the Statesboro media that a tentative make-up date has been set up for December 5th. Again, this would require that neither team make their respective conference championship.

We're looking to confirm this within FAU.
Posted On: Sep 18th 2020, 12:36 PM #396061

Is there an opportunity that both conferences would rescheduled their conference championship game to the week after?

Revolution- n. A large amount of change in a short amount of time.   FAU- n. The place where tomorrow begins.
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The97Revolution said

Jack D Whidden III said

UPDATE: Georgia Southern AD as told members of the Statesboro media that a tentative make-up date has been set up for December 5th. Again, this would require that neither team make their respective conference championship.

We're looking to confirm this within FAU.
Posted On: Sep 18th 2020, 12:36 PM #396061

Is there an opportunity that both conferences would rescheduled their conference championship game to the week after?
Posted On: Sep 18th 2020, 1:45 PM #396065

Everything should be pushed back imo. Not saying push the season entirely to spring, but acknowledge that there's going to be bumps in the road and allow for the postseason to be in January and use the last few weeks in December as make up time. I know it's easier said than done, but the players deserve to play as close to a full season as possible.
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Not surprising. Feels like the season is being held together by duct tape.
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This virus will remain , and not go away, until a vaccine is being administers to the public. As long as we keep testing,  up to three times per week, we Will keep finding posative players. I think the powers of football were hoping they could keep the numbers way down. But hoping is a non science. Fingers crossed for next week. Maybe a different batch of players will have it next week. .
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Local Owl said

This virus will remain , and not go away, until a vaccine is being administered
Posted On: Sep 18th 2020, 5:57 PM #396068

Sounds like Chuck

GO OWLS!
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Jack D Whidden III said

UPDATE: Georgia Southern AD as told members of the Statesboro media that a tentative make-up date has been set up for December 5th. Again, this would require that neither team make their respective conference championship.

We're looking to confirm this within FAU.
Posted On: Sep 18th 2020, 12:36 PM #396061

GREAT NEWS, kind of!
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I hope you win your conference' but if you don't looking forward to playing the Owls
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Coach Taggart says that around 25 players would've sat out Saturday's contest against Georgia Southern.


When I'm not in school, I'm schooling the CUSA Twitter game; Follow Me Here
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