Oct 31, 2020; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte 49ers head coach Will Healy during the first quarter of the game against the Charlotte 49ers at Wallace Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports

Hilltoppers, 49ers try again as C-USA juggles schedule

Will the third time be the charm for Western Kentucky and Charlotte?

Conference USA announced Wednesday that the Hilltoppers and 49ers will try once again to play this season. The game, originally scheduled for Nov. 28 before being moved to and then postponed again on Tuesday, is set for a noon ET start on Sunday in Charlotte.

The announcement comes after FIU canceled its scheduled Saturday game at Charlotte due to COVID-19 issues within the Panthers’ program.

Elsewhere in the conference, Middle Tennessee’s game at UAB set for Saturday has been canceled, per a Middle Tennessee statement.

The league said matchups for the final week of the regular season — Dec. 11 and 12 — will be determined “no later” than Sunday.

“The most important aspect is the health and safety of our student-athletes and we felt it was not fair to them or our program to be able to play this game,” said MTSU athletic director Chris Massaro in a statement. “We were down to 49 scholarship players and would also have to play guys coming right off injuries. That is not a situation we want to put them in.

“It’s a disappointing day for our program and fan base, but this is an unfortunate outcome of the pandemic. Our players have done a remarkable job all year in navigating all these uncertainties.”

The schedule for Charlotte (2-3, 2-1 C-USA) has been in constant flux this season. Games against North Carolina, Georgia State, Florida International, Middle Tennessee, Gardner-Webb and Marshall were either canceled or postponed. The 49ers have not played since a 53-19 loss at Duke on Oct. 31.

Sunday’s game is the last one on the schedule for the Hilltoppers (4-6, 3-3).

FIU (0-5, 0-3) has also seen its schedule wracked by postponements and cancellations. The Panthers have lost games at UTEP and now at Charlotte, and also lost a home game against Louisiana Tech.

FIU is scheduled to host No. 21 Marshall (7-0, 4-0) on Friday, Dec. 11.

–Field Level Media