College football fans will not see one of the best teams in the country play this weekend. On Wednesday, the Ohio State Buckeyes learned that their game against the Maryland Terrapins had been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. Maryland announced that eight players tested positive for the coronavirus in the last seven days. It's the first game Ohio State and Maryland will miss this year.
"The health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes is our main concern," Buckeyes coach Ryan Day said in a statement as reported by USA Today. "Obviously, we are disappointed at not being able to compete this week, but I am incredibly proud of our team and the way they have handled themselves throughout this entire pandemic."
Maryland has paused all football-related activities, and the game will not be rescheduled. "There is nothing more important than the health and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and staff," Terrapins athletic director Damon Evans said in a statement. "We realize that this news is disappointing to all of the Maryland fans out there who were looking forward to the Terps taking on an outstanding Ohio State team, but the responsible thing for us to do is pause football activities, given the number of positive cases currently in our program." Maryland coach Michel Locksley said he's "extremely disappointed" his team will not be able to play on Saturday.
"It was an opportunity that our team was preparing for and excited about," he stated. "However, we have and always will keep our players, coaches and staffs safety at the forefront of our decision making process. We'll continue to operate as much as we can virtually as we monitor the situation in hopes of returning to play when it's deemed safe."
Ohio State and Maryland have played three games this season and have four games left on their schedules. For Ohio State, the cancelation of the game makes things interesting as they are the No. 3-ranked team in the country and likely going to play in the Big Ten Championship game on Dec. 19. However, due to other football programs across the country dealing with cancelations or postponements during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio State's chances of reaching the College Football Playoff aren't in Jeopardy as long as they continue to win.