The BYU Cougars will in fact play the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers on the road Saturday because the Liberty Flames’ COVID-19 problems have made them unable to play against the Chanticleers.
Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger was first to report the news, and the Deseret News confirmed it through a source before BYU officially announced it Thursday morning.
“We’re grateful that this game between our two teams could be put together in such a timely fashion.” BYU director of athletics Tom Holmoe said in the announcement. “It’s good to have a partner like ESPN that can help put together such a meaningful game at this point of the season.”
There was momentum on Wednesday toward BYU and Coastal Carolina playing, although Liberty was awaiting COVID-19 test results before it removed itself from the game, which ESPN’s College GameDay will be broadcasting from.
Kickoff will be at 3:30 p.m. MST and the contest will air on ESPNU.
The Cougars and Chanticleers are both undefeated at 9-0. BYU is No. 13 in the College Football Playoff rankings and Coastal Carolina is No. 18.
In between initial reports Thursday and BYU formally announcing the game, Liberty released a statement that read in part, “The decision to pause football activities and cancel Saturday’s game was made by the medical staff at Liberty University. The game will not be rescheduled this season, but will be rescheduled at a future date.”
College GameDay will air from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. MST on Saturday morning.
The Cougars and Chanticleers have one common opponent this season, Texas State, a team both sides beat soundly. BYU won 52-14 on Oct. 24, and Coastal Carolina was victorious 49-14 just last Saturday.
Contributing: Jay Drew