Rice, UTSA game postponed due to COVID-19 related issues
The Rice football game against the University of Texas, San Antonio Roadrunners that was originally scheduled for tomorrow, Nov. 7, has been postponed due to COVID-19 related issues within the UTSA program.
“I was contacted last night, and informed that UTSA had received some positive [tests],” Rice football head coach Mike Bloomgren said. “We’re disappointed, we’re always excited to play those guys. But we’re going to pivot, and we’re going to move forward.”
Bloomgren said he spoke to the team this morning, asking them to remain flexible and to begin preparing for their upcoming game against Louisiana Tech University.
“When I told the team this morning, that the one constant I’ve asked them for since COVID started is flexibility and adaptability,” Bloomgren said. “We better take it as the blessing that it is, that we have more time to prepare for next week. “Our coaches are working on LA Tech as we speak.”
Rice Director of Athletics Joe Karlgaard issued a statement on the cancellation this morning.
“The virus remains a constant challenge to our efforts to play this season,” Karlgaard said. “I know Coach Bloomgren and his staff will regroup our team and turn their attentions to Louisiana Tech.”
Rice and UTSA will work with Conference USA to attempt to reschedule the game for a later date. With the Owls schedule for the rest of the season full, that may prove challenging. Bloomgren said that he would like to see UTSA put back on the schedule, especially considering the champion of the C-USA West might hang in the balance.
“I think it makes a lot of sense to play every [team] in the West, as we’re trying to decide a champion,” Bloomgren said. “If you play everybody, we can decide [a champion] on the field. My goal is to get a chance to play them, but that’s a decision for the conference office.”
Bloomgren did express frustration with the situation as a whole, saying that trying to get through a season in the midst of a pandemic is difficult.
“This uncertainty is so hard to deal with,” Bloomgren said. “Seeing it as a blessing is what you have to do, because if not you’ll go crazy.”
Bloomgren said that he has reminded his team that going forward, their actions regarding the virus are more important than ever.
“It’s a freaking virus, and it’s much bigger than football,” Bloomgren said. “I’m imploring our team to be disciplined with their actions.”
The Owls will hit the road over the next two weeks, visiting Ruston, Louisiana for their matchup against LA Tech on Nov. 14. They’ll follow that with a visit to Denton, Texas for a Nov. 21 matchup with the University of North Texas.
More from The Rice Thresher
Three members of the Rice women’s track & field team participated in various Olympic trials during the last two weeks of June. While none of them qualified for Tokyo, sophomore thrower Tara Simpson-Sullivan and graduate jumper Michelle Fokam narrowly missed the cut.
Last week, Rice announced that Jose Cruz Jr. will be its next head baseball coach, the 22nd in program history. A three-time All American at Rice from 1992-95, Cruz will be replacing Matt Bragga, who was relieved of his duties at the end of this past season.
Rice Women’s Track and Field saw three athletes finish in the top ten of their respective events at the NCAA Championships, held earlier this month in Eugene, Oregon. Senior long jumper Michelle Fokam, freshman thrower Tara Simpson-Sullivan, and freshman distance runner Grace Forbes put together the best performance from women’s track and field at a national competition in 20 years.