North Carolina State’s season-opening football game at Virginia Tech was postponed Wednesday from Sept. 12 to Sept. 26 because of a cluster of COVID-19 cases among Wolfpack athletes in Raleigh.
The Atlantic Coast Conference and the two schools announced the delay two days after N.C. State paused athletic activities. The school didn’t specify which programs were impacted by the cluster of 27 positive cases at the time and noted that not all those cases involved athletes.
"We appreciate the ACC and Virginia Tech working together in partnership to move this game to a mutual open weekend," N.C. State Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan said in a statement. "There's no blueprint for what we're all trying to navigate and we are grateful for everyone's collaboration to make this work."
Both teams are now scheduled to open the season with instate ACC matchups on Sept. 19. N.C. State will host rival Wake Forest at Carter-Finley Stadium, while Virginia Tech will host Virginia in Blacksburg. No final decisions have been made regarding fan attendance at Wolfpack home games.
"The ACC created a league schedule with flexibility to adjust games if needed,” Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren said. “There are going to be times teams must adjust based on what is best for the health and safety of the players and staffs involved. This move provides our team and staff the time needed to prepare and reacclimate after pausing our practices.
The first college football game of the 2020 season takes place this Saturday when Austin Peay takes on Central Arkansas in a neutral site FCS game in Montgomery, Alabama. That game kicks off at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision will begin play the following week, starting with Southern Miss vs. South Alabama on Thursday, Sept. 3. The first game scheduled involving an ACC team is on Sept. 10, when Miami hosts UAB.
The ACC is one of six FBS conferences that is set to play football this fall, joining the Big 12, SEC, Sun Belt, CUSA and American.
N.C. State finished 4-8 last season.