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Not only does the University of Cincinnati football team have to devise a way to slow down big, bad Bama, they also need to figure out how to contain COVID. Days away from a New Years Eve playoff semifinal with the Crimson Tide, the Bearcats are doing their best to stay focused on the game plan rather than the virus.
“I can promise that we’re not letting anything stand in our way,” Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell said Sunday.
Luke Fickell on COVID concerns ahead of the CFP semifinal.
“Guys have made some sacrifices they wouldn’t normally have on a six-day bowl trip. We’ll be smart about who we’re around."
— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) December 26, 2021
Like most teams within college football and professional sports, the Bearcats are dealing with the uncertainty of if, how and when COVID will impact their roster. “Guys have made some sacrifices they wouldn’t have on a six-day bowl trip,” said Fickell. “We’ll be smart about who we’re around.”
Despite those sacrifices that Cincinnati and their opponent, Alabama, have been forced to make, the Bearcats aren’t going to harp on the unusual circumstances surrounding their bowl preparation. “We all have things we’ve got to overcome,” Fickell said. “We have a lot of other colds and flus and things we’ve missed throughout the season. So we know we got to be smart about what it is we’re doing. But we’re not going to dwell upon those things because sometimes I think those things hold us up more than anything. They take our energy, they get us into a different frame of mind.”
Fickell would rather focus that energy on beating Bama and advancing to the National Championship game. “We understand that we don’t live our lives in fear but we also aren’t ignorant. “We’re smart about what we’re doing,” added Fickell. “We know we have a task in front of us, and we’re not going to allow anything to stand in our way.”
A tall task at that. FanDuel Sportsbook has Cincy pegged as 13.5 point underdogs. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 pm EST Friday.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF