Courtesy of Iliana Limón Romero at email@example.com/www.orlandosentinel.com
(Orlando Sentinel Sports, and home of Jay Reddick, former sportswriter/desk reporter for the News and Record.)
The Florida State at Wake Forest regular season finale scheduled for Saturday afternoon has been canceled due to a COVID-19 positive test among the Seminoles.
The ACC announced Friday/today FSU registered a positive test result. Subsequent quarantining and contact tracing left Florida State without enough offensive linemen available to play. Roster numbers that can trigger cancellation of games were set during the preseason by the ACC Medical Advisory Group.
This is the fourth game called off for FSU due to either COVID-19 test results or the reshuffling of ACC schedules. The Seminoles’ home games earlier this season against Clemson and Virginia were canceled the morning the contests were slated to be played. The ACC since shifted its final round of testing back one day to assure results return the day before a game, avoiding unnecessary travel and game-day cancellations.
FSU coach Mike Norvell, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this year, was hopeful the Seminoles would play their final two games after multiple interruptions. He called the practice time and game experience valuable for the rebuilding program.
While bowl requirements have been lifted this season, an FSU source told ESPN the school would turn down a bowl bid.
Florida State closes Norvell’s first season with a 3-6 overall record and 2-6 mark in ACC play. The former Memphis coach had little time to make an impact on the struggling program, taking over late in the December recruiting cycle and later losing all of spring football and offseason conditioning opportunities on campus due to the coronavirus shutdown of college athletics.
A wave of opt outs and injuries further hindered the Seminoles’ progress.
The final result was the worst FSU football season since 1975, the year before legendary coach Bobby Bowden took over leading the Seminoles. Bowden told Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi earlier this season the only way for Norvell to get the program back on track was to recruit the talent FSU needs to start winning consistently.
“These are different times, but just like when we got to Florida State back in 1976, you’ve got to hit recruiting trail,” Bowden said. “That’s what we did. We were able to recruit some good players pretty quickly. That’s the advantage you have in the state of Florida. There are plenty of players in this state. You’re not going to get ‘em all; you just want to get your share.”
Norvell was upbeat Wednesday after locking in a wave of 16 recruits during early National Signing Day, including UCF star graduate transfer quarterback McKenzie Milton. The relatively small class leaves Norvell room to load up on seasoned transfers or collect more signees during the regular signing period in February.