“Head coach Ryan Day is one of the people who tested positive,” the statement said. “He’s isolated and won’t be traveling to Illinois or coaching the team this week. Assistant head coach / defensive line coach Larry Johnson will serve as the Buckeyes’ interim head coach on Saturday. ”
Day’s test positive means two of the four teams currently in the college football playoff picture will be without their head coach on Saturday, as Alabama No.1 will also be coachless Nick Saban after testing positive for the coronavirus earlier this week ahead of the Crimson Tide vs. Auburn Rivalry Game.
The increased number of positive tests from the state of Ohio contrasts with the program’s “nearly 0% positivity since Aug. 11,” according to the statement. But the number of cases within the program does not currently put Saturday’s game in jeopardy with the Big Ten protocols.
The Buckeyes, however, have changed their travel plans due to the positive tests. Instead of flying to Illinois on Friday, the team now plans to fly on Saturday morning before kickoff at noon (ET). Johnson was never a full-time head coach, but has been on the Ohio State staff since 2014 and long served in the Big Ten as he went from 1996 to 2013 on the Penn State staff. .