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Virginia coaches, players react to Virginia Tech game being postponed

Well, this is a bummer.

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

News broke Saturday morning that the September 19 season opener for both the Virginia Cavaliers and Virginia Tech Hokies would be postponed due to a potential COVID-19 outbreak for the Hokies. Virginia Tech has now paused football activities for four days, and coach Justin Fuente had said on Wednesday that they likely would not have been able to field a team as a result of positive cases and contact tracing if they had to play that day.

“I don’t know if we could, to be honest with you. I don’t know if we’d have made it,” Fuente told Mike Barber of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “I figured somebody would ask me, could we play today in this deal? And I’m going to tell you, I did everything in my power to construct a practice that we got good out of today with the guys that we have. So I mean I guess the answer to your question more directly would be glad, yeah, I’m glad we’re not playing.”

On a media call on Saturday morning, Virginia Tech AD Whit Babcock told the media that the combination of positive tests and contact tracing had depleted the roster, and that, “If we could line up and play, we would respect the game and line up and play.” He also referenced that one of ACC’s benchmarks is seven healthy offensive linemen, although he didn’t explicitly speak to whether the Hokies satisfied that benchmark or not.

Virginia will now face Duke on September 26 in Charlottesville, a game moved up from November 14.

Understandably, the Virginia players and coaches were upset about the delay, and some of them took to Twitter to express their frustrations. Third year offensive tackle Ryan Nelson wanted to make it clear who still had the Commonwealth Cup:

Linebacker Charles Snowden didn’t hold back, calling out some of the Hokies that had been active on Twitter.

He wasn’t here for VT’s Tré Turner clapping back, either.

Running back Shane Simpson recently joined the Virginia squad, but he has already become a part of the team and was vocal online:

The coaches didn’t stay silent, either. Offensive line coach Garrett Tujague, running backs coach Mark Atuaia, and special teams analyst Drew Meyers all expressed their pride in what the Cavaliers have done to this point.

Mostly, the Virginia players seemed disappointed after following protocols and seeing those results in the testing.

Zane Zandier saw a silver lining in the whole delay, noting he can brush up on more of his quarantine skills:

Martin Weisz, a third year who retired from football this summer due to medical reasons, came through with the best tweet of the day:

Keep that trophy masked up! Next up, Duke.