By GEORGE HENRY
ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins is trying to make the most out of having two games postponed by COVID-19.
The Yellow Jackets were scheduled to play Pittsburgh at home last week when the Atlantic Coast Conference stepped in and moved the game to Dec. 12 after it was determined that injuries, positive tests and contact tracing left both teams unable to play.
Georgia Tech’s game at No. 12 Miami, scheduled for this Saturday, then was postponed until Dec. 19, though Collins said that the Jackets would’ve been able to play. The Hurricanes have had their three remaining games rescheduled because of COVID-19 cases in the program, forcing the ACC to shuffle a total of six games over the last month of the season.
“It’s unfortunate,” Collins said. “We were ready to play. We had an OTA-style practice this morning. I feel good about where we are as a program, I feel good about the protocols and the mitigation strategies that our medical professionals have put in place for us.”
To keep his players as focused as possible, Collins ran the team through a light practice Tuesday, but it was more like a spring football session than one the Jackets are accustomed to during the season. Their next game is scheduled for Nov. 28 at home against Duke.
The Jackets (2-5, 2-4 ACC) will spend three weeks without a game because they were coming off a bye after losing to 31-13 to then-No. 4 Notre Dame on Oct. 31.
“These are unprecedented times that we’re going through,” Collins said. “There’s no book to go back and say how do we handle coming off a bye week and coming off two games getting canceled, what is that practice schedule supposed to look like. I thought the guys handled it well. I think we got some really good work out there today.”
Georgia Tech’s game against Miami will not be played if the Hurricanes make the ACC title game, also set for Dec. 19, or if the result of the game would not impact which two teams play for the league championship.
The Jackets had to cancel practice last Thursday when it was determined that the team would not be able to play.
“Last week, it was a combination of a lot of things,” Collins said. “Injuries at a certain position, contact tracing and cases of contact tracing outside of the program that affected us and then a small group of positives at a certain position that put into question later in the week that we’d able to play versus Pitt.”
Collins plans on the rest of this week being light and easy.
“We’ve never had to do this before,” he said. “We’re having another training camp within the season. We’re just trying to manage it as best as we can, getting in some really good speed work, stay in good condition, stay sharp and crisp and getting the guys moving around at a high level.”