Football opener against Houston postponed due to COVID-19 related issue

Tresten Ebner edges into the end zone during Baylor's 56-17 win over Stephen F. Austin in the 2019 season opener at McLane Stadium. Lariat File Photo

By Will Chamblee | Sports Writer

Baylor Athletics confirmed today that the opening game against Houston will be postponed.

The match-up was scheduled to take place this Saturday at McLane Stadium. Baylor and Houston will honor the future home and home arrangement and will look for possible dates to reschedule the game this season.

“The loss of this game is a devastating blow, but in the interest of the health and safety of our student-athletes, we believe we made the necessary decision,” said Baylor Athletic Director Mack Rhoades. “We are incredibly disappointed with the continued delay to the start of our season, and empathize with our student-athletes, fans, coaches, and administrative staff.”

A source told Sic’Em 365 that Baylor “would have been without a significant portion of a single position group making it unsafe to play.”

According to Big 12 policy, teams must have at least 53 available players on their roster. Specifically, at least seven offensive linemen, four defensive linemen and one quarterback need to be available for the team to be eligible to play.

Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger reported that sources told him Baylor’s offensive line did not meet the minimum requirement, with contact tracing and positive tests bringing them below seven active offensive linemen and forcing the postponement.

This is the second week in a row that Baylor has had to cancel games due to COVID-19. Last week’s matchup against Louisiana Tech was cancelled after 38 Tech players tested positive.

Baylor head coach Dave Aranda said the team was “heartbroken” about postponement.

“While we’ve been eager to play football this fall, we have all made a commitment to only do so with the highest level of safety and care for our student-athletes,” Aranda said. “We are disappointed for our team, staff, and our fans, but look forward with great anticipation to renewing this rivalry in the future.”

As of right now, Baylor’s next game will be on September 26th against Kansas at McLane Stadium.