May 9, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

USC’s game against Oregon on Saturday postponed

Less than a week after a false positive coronavirus test forced USC to postpone one Pac-12 game, COVID-19 issues at Oregon have claimed another.

USC won’t play Oregon on Saturday as scheduled, because of COVID-19 protocols within Oregon’s program, leaving the Trojans with two postponed games to pack into just five remaining weeks of the regular season.

That won’t be easy, especially as USC, currently in second place in the Pac-12, enters a crucial stretch of its schedule with a chance to climb into the conference lead. UCLA is only 1½ games ahead of USC in the Pac-12, with a crucial meeting between the crosstown rivals set for early next month.

“This season has been so tough with the cancellations and postponements, to have another canceled, it was frustrating,” USC coach Andy Enfield said Saturday.

USC has already rescheduled one game with Stanford, set for Feb. 2. It hoped to play another this week against the Cardinal after a false positive test hours before tipoff forced a sudden postponement of their meeting last Thursday. Offers were made to make up that game this week, Enfield said, but Stanford rebuffed them.

“We were willing to play because we’re here,” Enfield said after USC’s victory in Berkeley on Saturday. “We thought Monday would be a good day. But that’s not my decision.”

There isn’t much flexibility remaining in USC’s conference slate. Any additional games would likely mean packing three in one week, with the exception of the final week of the regular season, which is open outside of a rivalry matchup with UCLA.

Oregon was forced to cancel three games, as its hoops program shuts down for the second time in three weeks. The Ducks played just one game after restarting activities — a loss against Oregon State — before being forced to pause for at least another week.

USC was forced into its own shutdown last month, when a single positive test led the program to pause all activities. Two conference games were postponed, and another two were canceled outright, while USC went three weeks between games.

The Trojans won’t have to wait that long this time. They face Oregon State on Thursday, before meeting Stanford in their initial makeup game next Tuesday.