Minnesota's COVID-19 issues force cancellation of matchup with Wisconsin
David Berding / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Saturday's Big Ten matchup between Minnesota and Wisconsin has been called off due to COVID-19 issues among the Golden Gophers, the school announced Tuesday.

Nine players and six staff members tested positive for COVID-19 over the last five days, and there may be other presumptive positive tests.

As a result, Minnesota has suspended all team activities.

"The health and safety of our student-athletes will always come first," said Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck. "Like almost every program in the country, we have been affected on some level by COVID-19 every week this season, but these last few days have resulted in more cases than we have previously seen."

The cancellation ends a string of 113 years in which Minnesota and Wisconsin have met on the field, a college football record, according to ESPN's Chris Low.

Under Big Ten policy, the game will not be rescheduled and will be ruled a no contest.

With this being the Badgers' third cancellation of the season, they won't play enough games to qualify for the Big Ten championship game. Wisconsin is 2-1 after blowouts of Illinois and Michigan and last week's loss to Northwestern. Games against Nebraska and Purdue were canceled due to Wisconsin's COVID-19 issues weeks ago.

The Badgers have just two games remaining on their schedule and won't meet the minimum requirement of six games played.

Northwestern now only needs to win one of its remaining three games to claim the Big Ten West, reports Stadium Network's Brett McMurphy.

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Minnesota's COVID-19 issues force cancellation of matchup with Wisconsin
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