Buckeyes’ Day tests positive, won’t coach Sat.

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Ohio State football coach Ryan Day has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not travel with the No. 4 Buckeyes for Saturday’s game against Illinois, the school said in a statement.

Assistant head coach/defensive line coach Larry Johnson will serve as interim head coach on Saturday while Day is in isolation.

Ohio State has confirmed “an increased number of positive tests this week for the coronavirus,” but it continues to prepare for it 12 p.m. ET game in Champaign, Illinois.

The Buckeyes completed another round of daily testing on Friday morning, and everyone associated with the team — including coaches and support staff — will also take PCR tests on Friday afternoon “out of an abundance of caution to ensure that everyone on the trip is confirmed negative for the coronavirus,” according to a news release.

Because of the additional PCR testing, the team will fly to Champaign on Saturday morning instead of Friday afternoon. The department has kept the University of Illinois and the Big Ten Conference aware of the developments.

“I have spoken with Coach Day, and he is doing well physically,” athletic director Gene Smith said. “I feel terrible for Coach and for the members of the program who have been diagnosed with a positive test.

“Coach Day and this team have been true leaders in handling things so well throughout this pandemic. Our team wants to play this game, and we’re going to do everything we can to help make this happen. All of the decisions on the welfare of our student-athletes and staff members will continue to be guided by our medical staff.”

According to the school, Ohio State has “consistently recorded nearly 0% positivity since Aug. 11,” and while there has been an increase in positive tests, it still doesn’t reach the threshold for Ohio State to have to cancel the game this week, according to Big Ten protocols.

Ohio State had its Nov. 14 game at Maryland cancelled because of COVID-19 within the Terps’ program.

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