It looks like it will be one down and one to go for the No. 4-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0).
Ohio State football confirmed on Friday afternoon that it has been cleared to travel for Saturday's showdown at the Michigan State Spartans (2-3) after COVID-19 issues impacting the Buckeyes forced the cancellation of last weekend's clash with the Illinois Fighting Illini.
Ohio State resumed team activities on Tuesday, and team physician Dr. Jim Borchers explained in a prepared statement that enhanced polymerase chain reaction testing allowed him to determine the Buckeyes can take the field on the first Saturday of December.
“We are very confident that we are heading to East Lansing with a team that can safely compete and whose health, safety and well-being has been our utmost concern," Borchers said. "We’ve tested, monitored and evaluated our results daily and have advised the student-athletes, coaches and performance staff accordingly.
“Our population positivity rate, which exceeded the threshold for participation at this time last week, has now returned on the seven-day rolling average to a level that allows us to compete safely this weekend.”
Head coach Ryan Day is among Ohio State personnel who recently tested positive for the coronavirus and won't be making the trip. He admitted on Thursday that his team will be "a little short-handed" at Michigan State.
Defensive line coach Larry Johnson will serve as interim head coach for the Buckeyes in Day's absence.
The Big Ten previously mandated teams must play a minimum of six contests this fall to be eligible for the conference title game scheduled for Dec. 19, and Ohio State's Dec. 12 showdown with the rival Michigan Wolverines remains in doubt after Michigan paused activities and canceled a matchup against the Maryland Terrapins because of positive COVID-19 cases and subsequent quarantines.
It remains unknown if the Big Ten would allow Ohio State to face a different opponent on the weekend of Dec. 12 if Michigan can't safely field a team.