The battle for the Valley Trophy is off.
Fresno State’s rivalry game against San Jose State – which was scheduled for Saturday – has been cancelled due to a positive COVID-19 case in the Fresno State football program.
An undisclosed number of players are required to quarantine due to contact tracing, even though the university revealed that only one member of the program has tested positive for COVID-19.
All players, coaches and support staff are tested three times a week, per the Mountain West’s directive in the 2020 season.
The Mountain West made the announcement Thursday evening and said there is no plan to reschedule the game. The game has been declared a no contest.
Fresno State Athletic Director Terry Tumey released the following statement:
“Though we have dutifully followed all proper protocols, and have received continual guidance from the Fresno County Department of Public Health, we unfortunately have confirmed a positive case of COVID-19 within our football program. In coordination with the Fresno County Department of Public Health and extensive contact tracing efforts, we have identified additional student-athletes who, per public health protocols, are required to be quarantined as a precaution.
“As a result, we will not be able to participate in this weekend’s scheduled competition against San Jose State. From a competitive perspective, we are disappointed for our student-athletes, coaches and our Red Wave fans who were excited for this long-standing rivalry contest.
“That being said, the health and safety of our student-athletes, staff and campus community have been, and will continue to be, our number one priority.”
It’s the first pandemic-related hiccup for the 3-1 Bulldogs this season. The university had not previously revealed if any student-athletes on the football team had tested positive, and head coach Kalen DeBoer had said multiple times that everything pandemic-related was going very well for the team.
But Fresno State’s luck has now run out, and the Bulldogs will not have the opportunity to reclaim the Valley Trophy from the 4-0 Spartans.
This is the fourth Mountain West football game to be cancelled this season and one of three this weekend alone.
Utah State – who the Bulldogs just beat last week 35-16 – had its game against Wyoming that was scheduled for Thursday cancelled because of an upward trend of COVID-19 cases within the program.
The conference or Fresno State did not say if the Bulldogs were exposed at Utah State last week.
UNLV and Colorado State had also been scheduled to play this weekend, but the conference cancelled the game due to positive coronavirus tests and contact tracing at UNLV.
Earlier in the season a game between Air Force and Wyoming that was scheduled for Nov. 14 was cancelled because of positive COVID-19 cases at Air Force.
Photo: Fresno State Athletics