Moreover, Jacksonville State will play Tech after having an open date. The Gamecocks opened the season Saturday, defeating Chattanooga 27-13, and will be off Saturday.
The last time Tech played a Labor Day game, at Virginia Tech in 2012, the Jackets followed that with a more palatable opponent the following week, Presbyterian, and easily defeated the Blue Hose.
Simply having to play a game with short rest also peeved Johnson. It is a consequence of the ACC’s contract with ESPN. The network annually features a Labor Day night game that includes an ACC team, an arrangement that gives the league a national platform and provides the network with attractive programming, but also creates the short-rest challenge for the following week.
“They talk about welfare for the student-athletes, and then they’re going to play two games in six days,” Johnson said. “No two-a-days, but, it’s OK to play two games in six days.”
Johnson was referring to an NCAA rule, set earlier this year, that prevents teams from practicing twice in a day as a health measure.