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Pitt and Michigan State Expect the Peach Bowl to be Played Without a Hitch

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With more Bowl games being canceled Sunday, the Military Bowl between Boston College and ECU and the Fenway Bowl between UVa and SMU both canned due to COVID-19 issues, both Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi and Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker don’t expect any COVID delays.

“So far, so good,” Narduzzi said Sunday afternoon on Pitt’s Zoom Peach Bowl press conference. “We traveled down, I think we had 49 travel from Pittsburgh. Anybody that lived outside about a 100-mile radius, we had them go home for a few days, spent the holiday. Could open up some gifts with their family and fly out that day.”

Both Pitt and Michigan State are in Atlanta, Georgia now, practicing at Georgia State and Georgia Tech, respectively, and with the Peach Bowl just about four days away, both head coaches feel good about their teams’ chances of playing a normal game on Thursday.

“I’ll make the sign of the cross,” Narduzzi said. “Right now, we’re good. You get scared. You hear of other people having problems. And we’re following the advice from our medical people and what to do, how to do it. And right now, this football team is as good as you’re going to get. We’re good. And we’ve got to get through Thursday.”

Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker said Sunday at the Michigan State Peach Bowl press conference that his team has been following protocols set for by the MSU medical staff and peach Bowl, and he doesn’t believe the Spartans will be impacted by any COVID disruptions.

“We’re just handling the protocols and following the ones that are set forth by our medical staff and by the bowl,” Tucker said. “We’re nearly at 100 percent vaccinated. And we haven’t had any substantial issues during the season relative to COVID. And, so, so far this week we’ve been good. So, I don’t anticipate any disruptions for the rest of the week.”

However, Narduzzi pointed to his fellow ACC teams in looking at Bowl cancelations, and while the New Year’s Six Bowls do have an added week to postpone in the chance of an outbreak, he said things can change at any point.

“Sounds like things change quickly out there,” Narduzzi said. “Hear what happened at Boston College and Virginia. So, we’ll keep our fingers crossed and just try to make sure our guys are doing the right things.”

The Peach Bowl is set for Thursday, Dec. 30 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. The 7 p.m. kickoff is set to be broadcast on ESPN.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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