Ohio State's road trip to East Lansing is officially on.
In a news release on Friday afternoon, Ohio State said it felt comfortable making the decision for the Buckeyes to travel to East Lansing and play Michigan State tomorrow – after canceling their road game at Illinois last week – after “increased and enhanced COVID-19 testing this week.” Per the release, “the team continues to be tested daily, in adherence with Big Ten Conference protocols, and has enhanced its polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing surveillance throughout the week.”
“We are very confident that we are heading to East Lansing with a team that can safely compete and whose health, safety and well-being has been our utmost concern,” team physician Jim Borchers said. “We’ve tested, monitored and evaluated our results daily and have advised the student-athletes, coaches and performance staff accordingly.
“Our population positivity rate, which exceeded the threshold for participation at this time last week, has now returned on the seven-day rolling average to a level that allows us to compete safely this weekend.”
Borchers also said that all athletes and staff who are currently in isolation or quarantine protocols due to positive COVID-19 tests, including Ryan Day, are “recovering and doing well.”
Larry Johnson is still set to serve as acting head coach in place of Day, who will be allowed to resume on-field coaching Monday. Ohio State has not revealed which players have tested positive for COVID-19, but will release a status report of unavailable players on Saturday morning.
The team will travel to East Lansing on Friday night after undergoing one final round of COVID-19 testing. Saturday's game is set to kick off at 12:06 p.m. and will be televised on ABC.
With Saturday's game on, Ohio State will become the first Big Ten team this year to return to competition just one week after canceling a game due to COVID-19 cases within its program. Wisconsin, Maryland and Minnesota all had to cancel back-to-back games after COVID-19 outbreaks in their programs.