NC State announced a suspension of all athletics activities after a rise in COVID-19 cases earlier this week, and with the scheduled season opener for football rapidly approaching the school has reached an agreement to move its Sept. 12 date against Virginia Tech back two weeks to Sept. 26.
WRAL's Joe Giglio first reported the potential of moving the game back two weeks on Tuesday, as both NC State and Virginia Tech had that date open in the ACC's modified 10+1 schedule for the fall. The ACC league office made the move official on Wednesday, noting that the 13-week schedule with two byes was built to accommodate these changes if necessary and "when possible."
According to multiple reports including WRAL and the News & Observer, NC State found 22 positive cases linked to the athletic department among the seven new clusters announced by the school on Monday. The reach of the positive cases reportedly includes the football program, and the contact tracing requirements for ACC's medical protocol include quarantine windows that would push into the week of practice leading up to the previously scheduled opener in Blacksburg.
"We appreciate the ACC and Virginia Tech working together in partnership to move this game to a mutual open weekend," NC State athletic director Boo Corrigan said. "There's no blueprint for what we're all trying to navigate and we are grateful for everyone's collaboration to make this work."
NC State's new opener for the 2020 season is now Sept. 19 against Wake Forest in Raleigh. Virginia Tech will now open its 2020 season at home against rival Virginia in an earlier-than-usual edition of the Commonwealth Cup.