By Amy Tennery
Nov 21 (Reuters) - A game between Clemson University and Florida State University was postponed hours before it was set to kick off on Saturday due to health concerns, the 18th college football game called off this week amid a spike in COVID-19 cases across the United States.
The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) said the decision to postpone the Florida State home game against No. 4 Clemson was made after a conference call during which "both teams' medical personnel were unable to mutually agree on moving forward with the game".
Clemson's Athletic Director Dan Radakovich expressed disappointment, writing on Twitter that the team followed "followed all of the ACC's protocol in preparation for this game".
Florida State head coach Mike Norvell said in a written statement: "It's unfortunate that we will not have the opportunity to compete today, but we hope to be able to play Clemson in December."
Fourteen other Saturday games were put on hold, as well as three other weekday games, a spokeswoman for the NCAA told Reuters, adding that approximately 85% of games this season have been played as scheduled.
This was the second week in a row of broad schedule changes, with another 15 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) games called off last week, as the U.S. nears 12 million COVID-19 cases ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
College football, an American cultural tradition that generates billions in revenue, each year sends top talent to the National Football League (NFL).
Prior to the season, many collegiate conferences across the country were engulfed in fierce debate over whether to move forward with games at all amid the pandemic, with the powerhouse Big Ten in September reversing its initial decision to postpone the football season. (Reporting by Amy Tennery, editing by Ed Osmond)