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Commonwealth Clash between UVA-Virginia Tech postponed, no make-up date set

Hendon Hooker #2 of the Virginia Tech Hokies rushes past Heskin Smith #23 of the Virginia Cavaliers to score a touchdown in the second half during a game at Scott Stadium on November 29, 2019 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)
Hendon Hooker #2 of the Virginia Tech Hokies rushes past Heskin Smith #23 of the Virginia Cavaliers to score a touchdown in the second half during a game at Scott Stadium on November 29, 2019 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images) (2019 Getty Images)

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The season-opening match-up between Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia has been postposed, according to a release from Tech’s athletic department. A make-up date for the annual competition known as the Commonwealth Clash has not been set.

Talks between the Atlantic Coast Conference, UVA and VT officials led to the mutual decision to move the football game between the two schools to a later date stemming from COVID-19 issues at Virginia Tech.

As of Thursday, VT has recorded 633 confirmed cases of coronavirus on campus. Seven cases are from employees while 626 are from students.

Click here to see the online Virginia Tech COVID-19 dashboard.

Virginia Tech is now scheduled to open the 2020 football season on Saturday, Sept. 26 against NC State at Lane Stadium. Updates will be provided should any further changes to the 2020 schedule be deemed necessary.

“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,” said Director of Athletics, Whit Babcock. "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. Despite this delay, our schedule still aligns closely with the Southeastern Conference and Big 12 football timelines.

“We appreciate the continued support of President Sands for our student-athletes and Tech Athletics as we navigate these unprecedented times,” Babcock continued. “We are still optimistic about fall Olympic sports playing their schedules. We likewise support Dr. Sands and our campus officials as they remain committed to providing the best learning environment possible under the circumstances this semester.”

“My primary concern continues to be the well-being of the student-athletes on our football team,” said head coach Justin Fuente. “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 as their spring semester was dramatically altered. Then they were forced to find a way to train on their own, and to their credit, they found a way to get it done.”

With the increasing number of coronavirus cases in Montgomery County, public schools have altered their plans just days after the start of the new year. School leaders announced Thursday evening, grades 4-12 will begin online learning Monday while pre-K-3 will remain on an in-person schedule.

Tech Administrators say they will start doing more than 600 coronavirus tests daily next week.

Virginia is now set to open the season October 3 at Clemson.


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