With a shift in its schedule already announced earlier this week, Missouri football continues to see its season reshuffled. The Southeastern Conference announced Friday that the Tigers will flip back-to-back matchups with Florida and Kentucky.
The Tigers’ Oct. 24 matchup with the Wildcats will be played at 3 p.m. CDT and air on the SEC Network, the league announced, and the Oct. 31 matchup with Florida will kick off at 6:30 p.m. CDT and air on the SEC Network Alternate channel.
The moves also means that Kentucky will now host Georgia on Oct. 31, instead of Oct. 24. That game will kick off at 11 a.m. CDT on the SEC Network.
Missouri initially was slated to travel to Gainesville to take on Florida on Oct. 24 and host the Wildcats on Oct. 31. However, the Gators paused team workouts Tuesday because of COVID-19-related issues.
It was later reported that as many as 19 Florida players tested positive for the coronavirus. Florida coach Dan Mullen also said on the SEC coaches teleconference Wednesday that two assistant coaches test positive for the virus.
On Wednesday, the conference announced that Florida’s Oct. 17 matchup with LSU would be postponed and tentatively rescheduled because of “positive tests & subsequent quarantine of individuals within the Florida (football) program.”
Friday’s change comes just days after Missouri was already given an unexpected bye week. The league announced Monday that MU’s matchup this upcoming Saturday with the Vanderbilt Commodores would be postponed and tentatively moved to Dec. 12.
Before the Missouri-Vanderbilt postponement, the Commodores played South Carolina last week with an extremely limited roster. It was reported that they played with just 56 scholarship players, three more than the SEC’s player threshold for the season.
On Monday, Missouri head coach Eliah Drinkwitz said on the Paul Finebaum Show that the Vanderbilt postponement came unexpectedly.
“If y’all want to know the real truth, our bus company alerted us that Vanderbilt had canceled their buses, and that’s where we first got wind that maybe this game wasn’t going to go on,” Drinkwitz said. “And then, as more and more things transpired, we got word from the SEC office that Vanderbilt had fallen below the COVID threshold.”
Drinkwitz said he “absolutely” understood the cancellation, as the Tigers had been dealing with COVID-19-related issues of their own.
Missouri had several players miss its 45-41 win over LSU because of COVID, including starting receivers Damon Hazelton, Keke Chism and wideout Dom Gicinto. Reserve defenders Akial Byers, Stacy Brown and Tyler Jones also missed the matchup because of COVID-19-related issues.
The Missouri coach said Tuesday that the unexpected off week is a “tremendous blessing” for his football team, as it will be a chance to nurse any minor injuries, as well as get players out of quarantine and contact tracing.
The change of schedule was first reported by PowerMizzou.com early Friday evening.