No. 4 Ohio State's game with Illinois scheduled for Saturday has been canceled, the programs announced Friday night, less than 14 hours before kickoff. The decision to cancel the game, which was scheduled for noon ET, came after Ohio State coach Ryan Day tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in this week.
Day's positive test came as part of "an increased number of positive tests this week," according to a statement released by Ohio State.
Ohio State assistant head coach/defensive line coach Larry Johnson was set to serve as interim coach of the Buckeyes on Saturday before the game was canceled.
The cancellation means Ohio State will play just seven games, at most, this season before the College Football Playoff announces its participants on Dec. 20. If the Buckeyes have another game canceled, they will be ineligible for the Big Ten title, per league protocols.
Ohio State's COVID-19 outbreak stands in contrast with the the program's previous claim of "nearly 0% positivity since Aug. 11." Before the game was canceled, the Buckeyes had changed their travel plans because of the positive tests. Instead of flying to Illinois on Friday, the team planned to fly Saturday morning, arriving just hours before kickoff.