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Mizzou schedule change flips order of Florida, Kentucky

Kevin Graeler
Columbia Daily Tribune
Missouri head coach Eliah Drinkwitz is seen before the start of an NCAA college football game between LSU and Missouri Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Columbia.

Head coach Eli Drinkwitz and the Missouri football team are navigating an October nothing like they expected — and the changes keep coming. 

Missouri will flip-flop the order of its next two opponents, moving its home game against Kentucky up one week to next Saturday and pushing its road game at No. 9 Florida back to Oct. 31, the Southeastern Conference announced Friday evening.

Missouri is now scheduled to host Kentucky at 3 p.m. next Saturday on SEC Network.

The Tigers are then slated to play at Florida at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 31 on SEC Network Alternate.

Florida’s home game against LSU this Saturday was canceled due to a COVID outbreak among the Gators in which at least 18 scholarship players have tested positive and many more are quarantined.

The Florida program is under "an extended pause of team activities ... at the advice of health officials," the SEC said Friday.

If the Tigers indeed face Florida on Oct. 31, it will be the Gators’ first game in three weeks. Florida was originally supposed to have Oct. 31 off.

Missouri was scheduled to host Vanderbilt this weekend, but that game was postponed to Dec. 12 because the Commodores had too many players out due to virus protocols.

Florida’s game against LSU also has been delayed to Dec. 12, a universal open date in the SEC schedule that falls between the last originally scheduled week of the regular season and the conference championship, which is set for Dec. 19.

Kentucky was slated to play at No. 3 Georgia next week, but that game will be moved back one week to allow the Wildcats to play Missouri next Saturday.

In addition to the frenzy of scheduling changes this week, Alabama coach Nick Saban and his athletic director, Greg Byrne, tested positive for the virus ahead of the No. 2 Crimson Tide’s showdown against Georgia. Saban tested negative in a follow-up test Thursday, leaving open the possibility of coaching Saturday from the sidelines.

Drinkwitz said Tuesday that his Missouri team would make good use of its unexpected bye this week after opening its season with losses to Alabama and No. 17 Tennessee before defeating reigning national champion LSU 45-41 last Saturday.

"It's a tremendous blessing for us," Drinkwitz said of the unexpected bye. "We played three really tough SEC opponents, all ranked. It's a physical game in the trenches. For us to try to get healthy, bumps, bruises, obviously get people out of quarantine, get people out of contact tracing is going to be good."

Missouri fans may use any tickets and parking passes for game three of the season for next Saturday's contest against Kentucky, Missouri athletics announced.

Overview of SEC date changes

  • Kentucky at Missouri moves from Oct. 31 to Oct. 24 at 3 p.m. on SEC Network
  • Missouri at Florida moves from Oct. 24 to Oct. 31 at 6:30 p.m. on SEC Network alternate
  • Georgia at Kentucky moves from Oct. 24 to Oct. 31 at 11 a.m. on SEC Network
  • Vanderbilt at Missouri moves from Oct. 17 to Dec. 12
  • LSU at Florida moves from Oct. 17 to Dec. 12

Updated Missouri schedule

Sept. 26 vs. Alabama 38-19 L

Oct. 3 at Tennessee 35-12 L

Oct. 10 vs. LSU 45-41 W

Oct. 17 bye week

Oct. 24 vs. Kentucky 3 p.m. SEC Network

Oct. 31 at Florida 6:30 p.m. SEC Network Alternate

Nov. 7 bye week

Nov. 14 vs. Georgia

Nov. 21 at South Carolina

Nov. 28 vs. Arkansas

Dec. 5 at Mississippi State

Dec. 12 vs. Vanderbilt