JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The countdown to the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl is on.
The game is scheduled for Friday at TIAA Bank Field but the recent COVID-19 outbreak leaves a lot of what-ifs.
Texas A&M is out because of issues with the coronavirus and season-ending injuries. Instead, Rutgers will play Wake Forest. But there is still some concern out there: What if there’s another outbreak?
The Fenway Bowl and Military Bowl were both canceled due to the pandemic on Sunday as coronavirus outbreaks at Virginia and Boston College forced them to call off their postseason plans.
The game scheduled for Wednesday at Fenway Park was to pit the Cavaliers against SMU. The Military Bowl scheduled for Monday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, between Boston College and East Carolina was canceled because of positive COVID-19 tests at BC.
Also Sunday, Miami said it would not play in the Sun Bowl, which was scheduled for Friday against Washington State. The Hurricanes have been dealing with a virus outbreak for several days.
Gator Bowl Sports President Greg McGarity joined News4JAX to talk about the steps his organization is taking to make sure the game goes on.
McGarity said the teams will arrive in Jacksonville in the coming days.
“Even when the teams arrive – Wake Forest arrives this afternoon, Rutgers later on tomorrow afternoon – so, so far so good. Both teams are healthy, so unless we hear otherwise we’ll be ready to go,” he said.
But, he added, the Gator Bowl will be ready if anything changes.
“We have to expect the unexpected and don’t be upset with things because things can pivot in a moment’s time. We’re moving full speed ahead – gonna have a great game and just hope we can get to the 31st at 11 AM to kick it off,” McGarity said.