A COVID-19 Update For Every 2020 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football ACC Opponent
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COVID-19 Update For Every 2020 Notre Dame Football ACC Opponent

Notre Dame’s 2020 football schedule went through significant alterations over the last three weeks. The first changes came when the Big Ten and Pac-12 instituted conference-only schedules, forcing Wisconsin, USC and Stanford to erase Notre Dame from their calendars this fall.

Yesterday marked a momentous decision by the ACC to utilize a similar plan by having its teams play a 10-game conference schedule and temporarily added Notre Dame football to its list of teams for the 2020 season.

Now, in addition to the six ACC opponents already on the schedule, the Fighting Irish will face off against Florida State, Boston College, Syracuse and North Carolina. Notre Dame football will also compete for a conference title for the first time in its 133-year history.

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In the new conference-scheduling structure, teams may also play one non-conference opponent as long as the game is held in the home state of the ACC institution. This makes it unclear which school will be Notre Dame’s 11th opponent.

Until that is decided, it will be important to monitor the status of all 10 ACC opponents while they implement precautions to deal with COVID-19.

The ACC will play a 10-game league schedule and will allow its schools to play one non-conference opponent.
The ACC will play a 10-game league schedule and will allow its schools to play one non-conference opponent. ((Jeremy Brevard/USA Today Sports))

While Notre Dame has done a good job of adhering to recommended safety procedures, some ACC teams have struggled and were forced to suspend workouts due to an outbreak.

BlueandGold.com’s Andrew Mentock has the breakdown for every 2020 Notre Dame conference opponent based on the most recent reported updates. Schedule dates will be released at a later time, and thus teams are listed in alphabetical order.


Boston College

Voluntary workouts began July 1 for Boston College football players that tested negative for COVID-19.

During this initial round of testing, only one of the 93 student-athletes tested produced a positive result.

Players actually returned to campus more than a week prior to working out in order to quarantine. The school said that some players could be in isolation for up to 14 days.

It does not appear any additional test results have been released, but when new Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley spoke to the media July 24, he appeared committed to strictly following safety protocols and was optimistic about a season occurring in the fall.

“If things are good, and we’re able to contact, I think we’ll see football as we know it,” Hafley said. “We’re hopeful games will be played and we’ll be back at this thing.

“If everything goes according to plan, I hope you and I are talking about kickoff and what it’s going to look like and everything will be moving forward.”


Clemson

Clemson was the talk of the college football world during the month of June while more and more players tested positive for COVID-19. On June 27, a total of 37 Tiger players had been infected, and some even speculated that they were intentionally contracting the virus.

Fortunately, no players were hospitalized during that time and the program appears to have the outbreak under control. On July 24, it was reported that there were no active cases in the university’s entire athletic department.

This bodes well for the Tigers, who are scheduled to begin fall camp Aug. 5.


Duke

Unlike most Power Five programs, anxious to get its players back on campus, Duke chose to wait until July 12 to begin its first phase of offseason workouts. The Blue Devils decided it was best to watch the rest of the country begin voluntary workouts and learn from their failures and successes.

“I still believe waiting until after the Fourth of July was key for us,” Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said. “I think sitting back and letting these guys see what’s occurred gives us a better chance for them to understand the seriousness of this.”

When Blue Devils players did return, they were tested immediately at Wallace Wade Stadium, only coming into contact with medical personnel. Next, players quarantined until results came back negative.

It does not appear that the program released test results, but it is a good sign that Cutcliffe and his staff are committed to stricter-than-normal safety precautions.


Florida State

A few weeks after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the United States in mid-March, Florida State offensive lineman Andrew Boselli received a lot of media coverage for being one of the first college athletes to, at least publically, announce that they contracted the virus.

“By that night, my temperature was 103 degrees,” Boselli said. “It was the highest fever of my life, but I felt like I was freezing. I was glued to the couch with no energy, no appetite and nothing but fluids and over-the-counter medicines to help me feel better. The hardest part was feeling slightly short of breath.”

In June, the Seminoles football team returned to campus with “some” players testing positive, but the specific total is unknown.

“An FSU official stated it is not releasing the number of positive test results to remain in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act,” wrote Matt Murschel of The Orlando Sentinel.


Georgia Tech

The Georgia Tech athletics department allowed voluntary workouts to begin June 15, but did not have any reported cases until early July when three student-athletes and three staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

On July 10, four additional student-athletes produced positive results, shortly after freshmen football players arrived on campus. But the results have improved since with only one positive test over the last three weeks.

It is unclear if any of these positive tests came from the Yellow Jackets football team, but head coach Geoff Collins is taking the virus very seriously.

“We’re trying to do everything, and every little detail that we find or every little protocol that we can improve or that we hear about, what other teams or other organizations are doing, to help the process,” Collins told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We’re constantly researching to try to find the best ways to continue for the health, safety and well-being of our guys.”

Louisville

In March, the Louisville football program was hit hard by the tragic death of Corey Reed from complications related to COVID-19. Reed is the father of Cardinals wide receiver Corey Reed Jr. It is unclear if Reed Jr. also contracted the virus.

The players returned in June, but thus far the program has not released any COVID-19 testing numbers. While this means we do not know the impact the virus has had on the team, the good news is that Louisville has not had to suspend workouts at this point.


North Carolina

North Carolina head coach Mack Brown and his staff have been on fire on the recruiting trail this offseason, landing a number of blue-chip, in-state prospects.

But it hasn’t been all good news for the Tar Heels this summer. In early July, more than 400 members of the athletics department — athletes, coaches and staff, were tested for COVID-19, with 37 yielding positive results.

The outbreak led to the football program temporarily suspending voluntary workouts.

On July 21, it was reported that workouts had resumed and those infected had “minor to no symptoms.”

“We’re trying right now to learn how to move forward, to learn how to practice and meet better, and at the same time keep a very low risk,” Brown said.


Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh decided that the athletics department would not release COVID-19 testing information to the public.

The university as a whole has been less secretive, announcing in early July that 14 students and five faculty/staff members have tested positive. It is unclear if any of those results come from Pitt football players or the coaching staff.


Syracuse

On June 9, about 65 Syracuse football players returned to campus for voluntary workouts and were immediately tested.

A week later, the athletics department decided to be vague, stating that “only one or two” football players had tested positive.

Outside of this dubious report, Syracuse doesn’t appear to have released additional COVID-19 testing information.

“We continue to plan for competition this fall, while closely monitoring conditions in our states and across the country and working with our local and state health officials,” Syracuse athletics director John Wildhack told Syracuse.com. “Our preparations include the health and safety of our student-athletes, staff and fans, and the Central New York community as our chief priority.”


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Wake Forest

Wake Forest football began the third and final phase of bringing its players back to campus July 3.

Thus far, the university hasn’t released much in terms of testing numbers, but athletics director John Currie did say in early July that he was pleased with how his student-athletes were handling the COVID-19 safety protocols.

“We defer to the university policy on testing protocols and results, but I can tell you that we were very pleased with our student-athletes,” Currie said. “Based upon the results, they’ve been doing a great job of following social distancing protocols, wearing masks.”

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