By Joshua Casazza
The Big Ten Conference returned Oct. 24 after being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The conference presidents decided to cancel the fall football season with hopes to play in the spring. They then reversed their decision and announced Big Ten football’s return in mid-October.
Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren spoke on the conference’s decision on the Big Ten Network after the announcement in September.
“Our chancellors and presidents have been laser focused from day one to making sure that we create an environment to allow our student athletes to participate in the most safe and healthy manner,” Warren said.
The Big Ten introduced various rules following the decision to return this season, including that all student athletes who test positive for COVID-19 will need to undergo a cardiac evaluation. After passing the evaluation, student athletes will have to wait 21 days following a negative COVID-19 test to return to the field.
Maryland freshman kicker Hunter Patrick talked about the stress of the conference’s circumstances.
“It was definitely confusing and stressful for me personally, but I tried to stay as neutral as possible,” Patrick said. “I think it’s really important to not get too high when things are going well and not get too low when things aren’t going your way.”
The Terps’ coaches and players will continue to go through COVID-19 testing every day to ensure that they are able to participate in their games each week.
Sophomore linebacker Sean Greeley reflected on the season so far.
“It’s been tough because we’ve had to stop and start multiple times,” Greeley said. “When there is a stoppage you have to go back to square one. It’s been hard but rewarding since things are working out.”
Maryland came into their second game of the season as heavy underdogs against Northwestern University, who was coming off a loss at home against the University of Michigan.
The Terps won their first game of the season on Oct. 30 in a 45-44 overtime victory against the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
“The win obviously felt amazing,” Patrick said. “We as a team knew how good we are, and we didn’t feel like we showed it against Northwestern. To come out and beat a very good Minnesota team really showed resilience and pride.”
The Terps then won against the Penn State Nittany Lions 35-19 on Nov. 7, and subsequent games were cancelled due to members of the Maryland football program testing positive for COVID-19.