MTSU likey to lose games against ACC foes Duke, Virginia Tech

CHRIS MASSARO

MTSU's football team is scheduled to begin practice with the NCAA mandated heat acclimation period on Aug. 6, Athletics Director Chris Massaro said.

However, the Blue Raiders likely won't be playing their schedule opener at Duke on Sept. 5 or hosting Virginia Tech, both ACC opponents.

"We are on plan for that so far," Massaro said of practicing beginning. "We've had some choppy waters (with the COVID-19), but we're doing everything to keep the risk down for our student athletes."

Players must go through the acclimated for five practices before going in full pads and participating in contact drills.

The ACC announced Wednesday it was allowing Notre Dame to join the league this season and compete for a championship. They conference will play 10 conference games, "plus one," meaning MTSU will like lose the two games against Duke and Virginia Tech.

"This was one of the many scenarios we have gone through concerning our schedule, and I hope to have more clarity in the near future as this news was just released," Massaro said. "Unfortunately, this is not very surprising but is disappointing as our players and fans look forward to games like these."

MTSU is also scheduled to play independent opponent Connecticut on the road on Nov. 21.

"I've had conversations with their athletic director," Massaro said. "Right now the state of Connecticut has travel limitations, but hopefully Tennessee will have gotten their numbers down by November and we'll be able to play that game. They're in an alliance where they're allowing travel into their state without a 14-day quarantine."

Massaro said Conference USA officials have discussed contingency plans for the upcoming season.

"We have some thoughts if certain scenarios happen," he said. "We won't be surprised if schedules get reduced. ... We're aware of our environment and ready to adjust if it does."

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