USF coach Jeff Scott said Thursday he remains optimistic his team’s game at Florida Atlantic, originally set for Saturday evening, can be rescheduled in December.
Speaking with reporters during a Zoom teleconference, Scott said an accumulation of COVID-19 concerns that hit two Bulls position groups especially hard led to the schools' mutual decision to call off Saturday’s game.
“I know we have two weeks in December that are held (vacant),” Scott said. “And as long as we don’t have any postponements of conference games, there’s a strong possibility that we can work that out.”
Multiple players were going to be held out against FAU following contact tracing from film of the Notre Dame contest by USF’s medical staff. The Irish reported Monday that seven players tested positive for the coronavirus, resulting in nearly two-dozen players in isolation or quarantine.
Additionally, seven Bulls players already were listed as “unavailable” for the game in South Bend. USF was awaiting results of Wednesday’s round of COVID-19 testing and planned more tests Thursday and Friday.
“I think it’s also important for everybody to realize that this is not just from the guys that we lost this week due to the contact tracing and/or testing,” Scott said. “This is a cumulative process. We still have multiple players ... that are still out.”
Though an overwhelming majority of the college games already called off this season have been non-conference contests, a Bulls-Owls meeting still seems plausible if both teams reach December with minimal coronavirus issues.
The Conference USA and American Athletic Conference title games are scheduled for Dec. 5, but both likely will be pushed back as far as two weekends to allow league make-up games to be held. If FAU (which has had four games postponed already) and USF make it through conference play unscathed, a Dec. 5 or 12 meeting remains a possibility.
USF is set to open league play next weekend at Cincinnati. If test results arrive briskly, Scott said he’s hopeful of the Bulls practicing at least once this weekend. As for the status of the Cincy game itself?
“Even though that’s nine days from now, it seems like it’s three weeks from now,” he said. “We have four tests left before we get to Cincinnati.”