Ohio State’s preparing to play against Michigan State on Saturday.
The No. 4 Buckeyes announced Tuesday that they were resuming workouts and practices after the Week 13 cancellation of OSU’s game against Illinois. Ohio State stopped all team activities the day before the Illinois game because of positive COVID-19 cases within the program.
The ability to prep for the Michigan State game is vital for Ohio State’s chances in the College Football Playoff and the Big Ten. With games against Maryland and Illinois canceled, Ohio State is one cancellation away from being ineligible for the Big Ten title. And the College Football Playoff committee showed a week ago that it was rewarding teams that had played more games. Another cancellation for Ohio State would mean that the Buckeyes could end the season with just six games played.
Ohio State (4-0) has Michigan State and Michigan remaining, plus a likely appearance in the Big Ten title game. The school said two days ago that it had made the decision to not play at Illinois on Saturday with the goal of being able to play against Michigan State and prevent an outbreak that could wipe out two or more games.
Michigan, meanwhile, is holding all team activities virtually for a second straight day. The Wolverines (2-4) have not had a game canceled due to COVID-19 yet so far this season.
Statement from #Michigan: "Out of an abundance of caution, we will again hold all team activities in a virtual format today. We will continue to follow the prevention protocols and recommendations of our medical professionals and the health department."
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) December 1, 2020
Ryan Day will be unable to coach
While Ohio State can resume team activities, it will be doing so without coach Ryan Day. He’s one of the members of the program who tested positive for COVID-19 and is required to be away from the team for 10 days after his diagnosis.
Since Day tested positive so shortly before the Illinois game, that 10-day period includes Saturday’s scheduled Michigan State game. Ohio State announced last Friday ahead of the Illinois’ game cancellation that defensive line coach Larry Johnson would be the interim coach in Day’s absence. Johnson will be the interim coach for the Michigan State game.
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