Dana Holgorsen, Houston await test results ahead of Tulsa
For the sixth time during the 2020 season, head coach Dana Holgorsen and his Houston team had its game postponed or canceled as college teams across the nation face the challenge of playing through a pandemic.
The latest game that got put on hold came against SMU. This time the contest had to be postponed due to positive COVID-19 cases within Houston’s program. An issue that began to rise before the USF game, Holgorsen told reporters during his weekly news conference on Monday.
When it comes to being able to compete on game day in 2020, the most important thing for a program is if it has enough players at each position group.
A school can have multiple players sidelined, whether it be due to positive coronavirus tests or injuries, and still play its upcoming game if those players sidelined are not within the same position. Once the list begins to pile up at one spot, the contests begin to get postponed.
Against USF, Houston started to get affected at the linebackers group, but the team was still able to field enough players to play. In the days leading up to SMU, however, it kept ravaging UH and it was unable to keep chugging along.
“It continued to attack the linebacker group, and that is when we couldn’t do it,” Holgorsen said.
Since then, the Cougars have been unable to practice in over a week, the head coach said. And while the game against Tulsa is still set to take place this coming Saturday, UH now waits for its latest test results that the players took on Monday morning.
If UH is able to get enough negative tests, then the team will finally be able to hit the practice field again. If it doesn’t, then serious doubts about Saturday’s game will rise again.
“I’ve never played a game that we couldn’t prepare for,” Holgorsen said. “I’ve never not practiced on Tuesday, and played on Saturday.”
In the meantime, the Houston players who have tested negative and are not dealing with an injury continue to hold small individual workouts that focus on lifting and running at the program’s facilities.
While continuing to prepare for games as uncertainty looms has not been easy to do, it is something that Holgorsen said is second-nature to his players already.
After all, Houston has had to pause three times during 2020—once in the spring, then in early June and now again in November. Not to mention the game postponements.
“It ain’t nothing new,” Holgorsen said. “Just keep your mindset focused on what the next thing is and take it day by day and week by week.”