For the better part of a week, the University of Rochester football team practiced without knowing who their next opponent would be.
"I mean, it's a little weird not knowing who we're going to play at first," said linebacker Thomas Marone.
"The University had plans in place if we couldn't come up with an opponent," said director of athletics Dennis O'Donnell.
The schedule said U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, but the federal school's athletic director called, saying the government shutdown would wipe out the game.
"She explained they could not play, because of the crisis. They didn't have the funds to do it," O'Donnell said
At one point, a group of alumni offered to pay to bring Merchant Marine here, but those details couldn't be worked out.
Yellowjackets coach Scott Greene didn't want the uncertainty to become a distraction, so the team kept practicing, unsure of who it would play Saturday, or even if it would play.
"I think for the first day or two, yeah, it's a little bit of a distraction because no one's acting like we have a game at first, going out there, going through the motions, joking around a little bit," Marone said.
Myles: "Not much of a distraction. We still have a team we have to play. We still have to do our jobs and keep going strong," said running back Myles Allen.
On Tuesday, in stepped Alfred State, a SUNY school and provisional Division III opponent.
"We reached out to them because they did not have any games scheduled in October, and if this happened, would you be willing to step in and play?" O'Donnell said.
Throw in the fact that it's a big weekend on the U of R campus: Homecoming, with 8,000 to 9,000 fans expected to pack into Fauver Stadium.
"Oh man, it's going to be awesome. I played homecoming last year. All the fans file into the stadium and cheer you on. There's nothing like it in the world," Marone said.