USU-Wyoming

Utah State wide receiver Savon Scarver (11) gets tackled by Wyoming cornerback Tyler Hall (9) during their game in 2019. The Mountain West Conference has announced that the Utah State-Wyoming game scheduled for Thursday has been cancelled because of an “upward trend of COVID-19 cases within the Utah State football program.”

Support Local Journalism

The opportunity to end a five-game losing streak dating back to last season will have to wait at least a week for the Utah State football program.

The Aggies have been experiencing an upward trend of COVID-19 cases, enough to necessitate the cancellation of Thursday’s road game against Wyoming, the Mountain West announced late Wednesday morning. The league also announced there is no plan to reschedule the game and it has been declared a no-contest.

Less than three hours later, the Mountain West sent out a release stating the UNLV-Colorado State game will not take place this Saturday, although it has not been ruled a no-contest yet. The decision was made “due to positive COVID-19 tests and the resulting contract tracing within the UNLV football program,” according to the release.

This is the first time a USU game has been called off this season, and the second straight week Wyoming has had a game scrapped. The Cowboys were supposed to play Air Force last weekend, but that game was nixed due to coronavirus-related concerns on the Falcons’ end.

USU’s next scheduled game is on Thanksgiving at home against New Mexico. Opening kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Maverik Stadium, and the game will be televised on Fox Sports 1. No fans will be allowed to attend that game, Utah State Vice President and Director of Athletics John Hartwell announced Wednesday, with the exception of family members of players.

The Aggies were missing some key personnel due to COVID-19 protocol last Saturday against Fresno State, including quarterback Andrew Peasley, offensive coordinator Bodie Reeder and co-defensive coordinator Stacy Collins. All three men would have been unavailable for the Wyoming game.

Additionally, Tania Dorazio, the mother of USU starting wide receiver Jordan Nathan, posted Monday on usufans.com that her son had tested positive for the virus. Nathan’s roommate, Kevin Meitzenheimer, a starting inside linebacker, is also under quarantine.

Earlier this fall, the Mountain West sent out a release outlining the conference’s thresholds for canceling football games. Some of the stipulations include:

— A “game could be canceled and declared a no contest if an institution’s football programs has fewer than 53 players available to participate or less than the following minimum number of position players available to begin a game: seven offensive linemen, four interior defensive linemen and one quarterback.”

— A game could be canceled if either team has a positivity rate that reaches 7.5 percent “at any time in the period between the previous contest and the upcoming game.”

— The Mountain West release also states “that state, county and local guidelines and virus circumstances shall always take precedence any may supersede Conference thresholds or institutional decisions.”

Jason Turner is a sports reporter for The Herald Journal. He can be reached at jturner@hjnews.com or 435-792-7237.

Please be aware that Cache Valley Publishing does not endorse, and is not responsible for alleged employment offers in the comments.