UVA football season opener postponed due to ‘COVID-19 Issues’ at Virginia Tech

Bronco Mendenhall at Pitt
Bronco Mendenhall at Pitt
Updated: Sep. 12, 2020 at 9:46 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia football season opener at Virginia Tech has been postponed due to “Covid-19 Issues” within the Hokies' program.

The Commonwealth Clash was scheduled to be played on September 19th in Blacksburg.

In a statement released on Saturday morning, Tech announced, “After consultation with Atlantic Coast Conference officials, our counterparts at the University of Virginia, campus leadership at Virginia Tech and Dr. Mark Rogers, Chief Medical Officer for Virginia Tech Athletics, the mutual decision has been made to move the football game between Virginia Tech and Virginia at Lane Stadium to a later date stemming from COVID-19 issues at Virginia Tech.”

Tech is pausing all football activities for four days.

“My primary concern continues to be the well-being of the student-athletes on our football team,” said Hokoes’ head coach Justin Fuente, in a statement. "I hurt for them because I know how badly they want to compete. I also appreciate that these young men have been dealing with the same stress, uncertainty and anxiety as their fellow Virginia Tech students over the past few months. So many individuals worked so tirelessly to give us an opportunity to get back on campus to train and to get back on the practice field. To all of those individuals who continue to go the extra mile for our student-athletes, I’m extremely grateful. I appreciate how many people at Virginia Tech are so deeply invested in the success of our football team and our young men.”

Virginia Tech Director of Athletics, Whit Babcock, added, “The safety, as well as the physical and mental well-being of these young men and women entrusted to our care by their families remains our top priority. While we share the disappointment of everyone who hoped to begin the football season against our in-state rival, we remain optimistic that a full ACC football schedule can be played thanks to the flexibility the present format permits.”

UVA director of athletics Carla Williams said in a statement, “These are very challenging times. We understand and respect the decision by Virginia Tech. With so much uncertainty, flexibility in scheduling becomes incredibly important. I know both teams and both fan bases were looking forward to opening the season next weekend. We’ll work with the conference and Virginia Tech to reschedule.”

The September 19th match-up would have been the first meeting between the 'Hoos and the Hokies in the season opener since 1970.

UVA beat Tech 39-30 to end a 15-year losing streak against their in-state rivals in 2019.

Virginia is now scheduled to start the 2020 season on October 3rd at Clemson, while Virginia Tech will host NC State on September 26th.

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