ATHENS — Georgia’s football game scheduled for this past Saturday against Missouri was called off due to COVID-19 concerns in the Tigers’ program, the Southeastern Conference announced last Wednesday.
The game has been postponed “due to positive tests, contact tracing & subsequent quarantine of individuals within the Missouri FB program,” according to the SEC.
Missouri’s coronavirus concerns were raised as an issue Tuesday afternoon, and the Tigers tried to meet minimum roster requirements to play the game. Tigers head coach Eliah Drinkwitz and Georgia’s Kirby Smart had optimism for the game being played, but that changed hours later due to contact tracing.
The SEC rules state that teams must have a minimum number of players available at each position. Missouri failed to meet that threshold for an unidentified spot, according to reports.
Georgia has yet to have an outbreak of its own or face previous postponements, and Smart said his team had been “fortunate” in terms of the virus.
The Bulldogs, after losing 44-28 to Florida, were hopeful for a game to get their season back on track.
“I don’t even want to think about it,” Smart said Tuesday evening. “I don’t want to say what I’m going to do, because a lot of that could be dedicated by (the status of the next game vs. Mississippi State). We have a plan we feel comfortable with, and we have to get our team better. We need a game. We have to work to get better.”
There’s no guarantee the game can be made up because Missouri already has a game (vs. Vanderbilt) tentatively scheduled for Dec. 12. The teams could play on Dec. 19 if neither team wins the SEC East to play in the championship game. Florida currently leads the division and would need to lose two of its remaining games to open the door for the Bulldogs.
According to a statement from Georgia, “The rescheduling of games on the remaining SEC football schedule may include December 19 as a playing date.”
The coronavirus has wrecked this week’s SEC schedule, with Georgia-Missouri, Alabama-LSU, Auburn-Mississippi State, Texas A&M-Tennessee all off because of COVID-19 outbreaks. The SEC will host only three games after having a full seven-game slate.
Georgia returns home for the first time since Oct. 10 for its next scheduled game, but the pandemic has raised questions about its status, too. Mississippi State paused team activities Monday due to its own outbreak. The game is currently scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 21.
Georgia football 2020 schedule
Sept. 26: Georgia 37, Arkansas 10
Oct. 3: Georgia 27, Auburn 6
Oct. 10: Georgia 44, Tennessee 21
Oct. 17: Alabama 41, Georgia 24
Oct. 31: Georgia 14, Kentucky 3
Nov. 7: Florida 44, Georgia 28
Nov. 14: at Missouri POSTPONED
Nov. 21: vs. Mississippi State
Nov. 28: at South Carolina
Dec. 5: vs. Vanderbilt