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December 5, 2020

College football: Clemson-Florida State postponed hours before start

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence  (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

By PETE IACOBELLI AP Sports Writer

The game between No. 4 Clemson and Florida State was postponed hours before kickoff Saturday when medical personnel from both schools could not agree it was safe to play.

The Tigers learned a day earlier one of their players tested positive for COVID-19, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced the postponement, although it did not detail whether the game at Florida State was called off because of coronavirus issues.

The person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity said the postponement stemmed from a positive test Clemson received Friday after traveling to Tallahassee. That unidentified player had tested negative on campus this week despite displaying symptoms.

The person did not wish to be identified because Clemson had not disclosed the reason for the postponement.

No makeup date was announced, but Florida State coach Mike Norvell said he hoped it would be in December. The Seminoles are scheduled to play Virginia next Saturday.

Clemson’s lone open date is Dec. 12. The ACC championship game is Dec. 19.

Star Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence was scheduled to make his first start since Oct. 24. He has missed the past two games, including the 47-40 double overtime loss at Notre Dame, after testing positive for COVID-19.

Norvell had also tested positive for the virus in September, missing the Seminoles’ game with Miami.

Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said the school had followed all ACC protocol in the week leading to the game.

“We now look ahead to returning to action next week against Pitt for Senior Day and Military Appreciation Day at Memorial Stadium,” Radakovich said in a statement.

On Friday, Clemson said in its weekly report on virus testing that 18 members of the athletic department tested positive this week, including 13 athletes. The school does not detail which athletes or sports are involved.

The ACC also announced several schedule changes. The Louisville at Boston College game recently moved to Dec. 12 will be played Nov. 28.

Wake Forest’s game at Louisville will be played Dec. 19 instead of Nov. 28. The Demon Deacons’ game with Duke, which was called off for this week, will not be rescheduled.

Duke coach David Cutcliffe said canceling the Wake Forest game was the right thing to do given what his players have dealt with this 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,” Cutcliffe said in a statement.

There have been 18 postponements this week out of 62 scheduled games. It is the 81st on the season since schedules were set in late August and believed to be the first game postponed on the day of the game.

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