USC-Colorado football game canceled after Trojans test positive for coronavirus

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Alijah Vera-Tucker #75, Amon-Ra St. Brown #8, Kedon Slovis #9 and Tyler Vaughns #21 of the USC Trojans lead their team down the tunnel to the field before the start of their game against the Utah Utes November 21, 2020 at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

Alijah Vera-Tucker #75, Amon-Ra St. Brown #8, Kedon Slovis #9 and Tyler Vaughns #21 of the USC Trojans lead their team down the tunnel to the field before the start of their game against the Utah Utes November 21, 2020 at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

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No. 19 Southern California’s scheduled home game Saturday against unbeaten Colorado has been canceled due to positive COVID-19 tests for the Trojans.

Colorado (2-0) immediately booked a replacement game against San Diego State in Boulder on Saturday afternoon.

In a statement Thursday night, the Pac-12 said USC (3-0) didn’t have the minimum number of scholarship players available at a specific position group as a result of at least two positive COVID-19 cases and the resulting isolation of additional players under contact tracing protocols. The Trojans haven’t identified the position or the players involved.

“We are disappointed for our players and fans and those from Colorado that Saturday’s game will not be played, but the health and safety of everyone in both programs is of the utmost priority,” USC coach Clay Helton said in a statement. “We will continue to test and monitor our players, coaches and staff and take guidance from health officials as we prepare for our remaining games.”

Colorado moved quickly to secure another game against Aztecs, whose game against Fresno State scheduled for Friday was canceled last Sunday due to positive tests for the Bulldogs.

USC canceled practice earlier Thursday for the second time in three days while awaiting test results for a player exhibiting COVID-19 illness symptoms.

USC also held its team activities virtually Tuesday after a player who had traveled to the Trojans’ win at Utah last weekend tested positive for COVID. Another player tested positive Wednesday before the Trojans held their normal practice, and five additional players were quarantined due to contact tracing.

The Trojans haven’t said which players are involved, but Helton confirmed they include starters.

USC’s next game is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 4, at the Coliseum against Washington State. The Cougars are idle this week because their scheduled Apple Cup meeting with Washington this Friday was scrapped due to positive tests at Washington State.

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