Mizzou schedule flips order of Florida and Kentucky games
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 late Friday.
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 postponed due to a COVID-19 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 Missouri indeed faces Florida on Halloween, 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 past weekend, but that game was postponed to Dec. 12 because the Commodores were low on numbers due to the virus and injuries.
Florida’s game against LSU likewise has been moved to Dec. 12, a universal open date on the SEC calendar 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 host No. 3 Georgia next week, but that game will be moved back one week to allow the Wildcats to play at 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 this weekend. Saban tested negative three straight days after his positive result, however, and was cleared Saturday by the SEC to be on the sideline Saturday night.
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."
Eight Missouri players were ruled out for the game against LSU a week ago, including six due to COVID-19 protocols. Among the inactive players were three wide receivers, three defensive tackles and two defensive backs.
Missouri fans may use any tickets and parking passes for home game No. 3 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