(WCIA) — When the rumor mill started to churn on social media that Ohio State players tested positive, the Illini had some skepticism that the game would actually be played on Saturday.
“It was crazy, seeing all that on twitter,” says senior defensive back Tony Adams.
The Illini were already at their team hotel in Champaign, when Ohio State called off the game due to several people within the program testing positive for COVID-19. Among them was head coach Ryan Day. Illinois got as much notice as just about anyone else, the team finding out just moments before the official news release.
“I feel like it was a lot of emotions, some guys were pretty upset, other guys we’re….I don’t want to say happy but they weren’t as upset,” says Adams. “It teaches you to be prepared for anything. This has been a crazy year.”
The team got the day off on Saturday, with the exception of a few film sessions and meetings. Head coach Lovie Smith says there was disappointment at first, the focus turned immediately towards Iowa.
“We knew as we started the football that teams would have some positives and that we wouldn’t be able to play,” says Smith. “So the guys, they’re exciting about playing the game, then we said ‘hey guys there’s no game, and immediately you start moving on to the next week.”
The Illini will play the Hawkeyes at 2:30 CT at Memorial Stadium on Saturday. The game will be televised on FS1.