AUSTIN – Texas football game No. 22 in Kansas on Saturday has been postponed to December 12, the Big 12 announced.
It is the first game of the season to be affected by COVID-19 for Texas.
Big 12 officials were forced to postpone the game due to Kansas’s inability to meet the minimum position requirements set by the conference. Ahead of the season, the Big 12 set the minimum number of players required to play a game at 53, with minimum thresholds for offensive linemen (seven), inner defensive linemen (four), and quarterback (one).
The affected Kansas position group has a combination of injuries and contact tracking, KU announced in a statement. As of Nov. 8, Jayhawks’ football program has conducted 825 COVID-19 tests, five of which returned positive on various test days during that period.
With a second consecutive open week, albeit unexpectedly, the Longhorns (5-2, 4-2 Big 12) will now prepare to host No. 17 Iowa State (5-2, 5-1 Big 12) at 27 November.
Earlier this week, the Big 12 announced it would host its championship game on December 19 at AT&T Stadium. Texas will now have a road race with Kansas a week before that event.
So far this season, 81 games have been canceled or postponed, with 80 FBS teams affected. Five Big 12 teams have games canceled or postponed: Texas, Kansas, TCU, Baylor and Oklahoma State.
This delay completely changes what the latter part of the regular season will look like for Texas.
Rather than starting a game on the road against one of the worst Power Five teams in the country, the Longhorns will now spend this second week at leisure to prepare for a more engaging match against the Big 12 leading Cyclones .
If the pandemic permits, Texas will play its last two regular season games in Kansas. A December 5 game against Kansas State (4-3, 4-2) at Bill Snyder Family Stadium would lead to the scheduled final against the Jayhawks.
Of course, nothing is certain in 2020. And while Texas football has not reported positive or active cases of COVID-19 since June 18, when the athletics department announced that 23 players had to be quarantined or isolated after 13 positive COVID-19 tests, there is an increase in positive cases and hospital admissions across the country.
On Tuesday, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) reported 117 fatalities and 10,826 new cases, bringing the total fatalities to 19,696 and confirmed cases to 1,039,513. And the seven-day moving average of positive tests is up 12.1 percent after a drop of just 5.1 percent in September, according to statistics from Johns Hopkins University.
“I hate to even talk about it because I don’t want to screw it up,” Herman said in September of the team’s luck in avoiding an outbreak. ‘I don’t know if anyone has a secret formula.
“But I think they (the players) are really, really bought. I think they understand that diligence is needed. I don’t know if we’re doing anything magical. I think part of it is we get our results out pretty early. I think that certainly helped. “
While the athletic program hasn’t released any new numbers, the University of Texas at Austin’s COVID-19 dashboard reports 1,362 cases since Aug. 26, the start of the fall semester. There are an estimated 130 active cases on Nov. 18, and the seven-day moving average reached 1.6 percent after dropping below 1.0 percent from Sept. 29 to Nov. 11.
“For the most part, our boys have remained diligent again, believing and understanding that they need to move forward this year to have a successful season,” said Herman. “And so far they have, and it’s up to us to make sure we continue with that level of commitment.”
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