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Pac-12 Football Kicks Off Saturday, Though Positive COVID-19 Tests Cancel Two Games

Oregon Athletics

After a long delay, it’s opening weekend for Pac-12 football, with both University of Oregon and Oregon State University hosting home games on Saturday.

The reigning Pac-12 Champion Ducks come into the shortened season ranked No. 12 and host Stanford, while the Beavers will host Washington State.

With COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings, fans will not be allowed at Reser or Autzen stadiums for any games this year.

While crowd noise will be piped in, Oregon Coach Mario Cristobal said without fans in attendance, it's up to the players to bring the intensity. He said as the team heads to their hotel Friday night, he’ll give them this advice, something they've already been practicing: “You gotta pack your juice, your energy, you gotta pack your Autzen vibe and everything that goes with it- all the passion- pack it in your bag because you’re gonna be the one that’s gonna have to bring it on Saturday.”

Credit Karl Maasdam
The OSU Beavers hold practice on Oct. 24, 2020.

Fans can watch from home as both games will be nationally televised Saturday. The Oregon vs. Stanford match-up is at 4:30 p.m. and will be televised on ABC. The Oregon State vs. Washington State game is at 7:30 p.m. and will be televised on Fox Sports 1.

Another game scheduled for Saturday, Washington at Cal, was cancelled Thursday after a Cal player tested positive for COVID-19. In a release, the conference said they approved a request from Cal to cancel the game. The decision was made under the Pac-12’s cancellation policy since Cal would not have the minimum number of scholarship players available for the game, “as a result of a positive football student-athlete COVID-19 case and resulting isolation of additional football student-athletes under contact tracing protocols.” The release also stated that “the health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 football programs will continue to be our number one priority.”

In October the Ducks cancelled a scrimmage and took a few days off practice after five players tested positive for COVID-19. Those tests were later found to be false positives.

UPDATED 11/6/20 11:35 a.m.: On Friday, the Pac-12 conference announced the Arizona at Utah game will not be played after "a number of positive football student-athlete COVID-19 cases" for Utah and "resulting isolation of additional football student-athletes under contact tracing protocols." 

Copyright 2020, KLCC


Love Cross joined KLCC in 2017. She began her public radio career as a graduate student, serving as Morning Edition Host for Boise State Public Radio in the late 1990s. She earned her undergraduate degree in Rhetoric and Communication from University of California at Davis, and her Master’s Degree from Boise State University. In addition to her work in public radio, Love teaches college-level courses in Communication and Public Speaking.
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