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Vanderbilt, Vols Both Battling Numbers in COVID Crisis

No one said it was going to be easy.

As the college football season got rolling with three games on Saturday, a report surfaced that the Tennessee Volunteers were forced to cancel a planned scrimmage on Saturday.  As many as 44 players were forced to miss the session because of positive test results or contact tracing to others who had positive results. 

Head coach Jeremy Pruitt confirmed the reports and shared that only seven or eight players of that group were positive. Still, it managed to take those players away from practice and force the team to postpone needed scrimmage work. 

This comes just days after Vanderbilt underwent its second round of positive tests among some members of their football and soccer teams. 

The Commodores were forced into a five-day postponement of team activities for football following the first outbreak. The second only cause a slight disruption, but for a team selected to finish last in the 14-team league, with many projecting the Commodores to go winless, any interruptions or missed practice time could prove critical. 

These issues are not isolated to just the Volunteer State, as teams across the southeast are facing similar situations in their attempts to play this season. 

Also, on Saturday, it was announced that the TCS-SMU contest scheduled for Sept.11 would be postponed because of positive test results from the Horned Frogs team. SMU opened its season Saturday in a road win over Texas State. 

While numbers in states are falling, the fact that the situation persists concerns to some health officials and local governments. In Metro Nashville, their mayor is once again tightening some restrictions on local businesses and areas of his city in an attempt to control further people and places in the name of flattening the curve again. 

There are no perfect answers at this point, but teams and conferences continue to push forward despite the setbacks and issues that arise. 

Regardless, it was a positive feeling for fans of college football that three games were played on Saturday, even if they might not have been premier matchups like Alabama-USC that were initially scheduled before the pandemic. 

Some football is better than none at all, and we should all feel fortunate to have what we are getting. 

Follow Greg on Twitter @GregAriasSports and @SIVanderbilt or Facebook at Vanderbilt Commodores-Maven