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As Delta approaches Gulf Coast, LSU-Mizzou will move Saturday's game to Columbia

As Delta approaches Gulf Coast, LSU-Mizzou will move Saturday's game to Columbia

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Defending champ LSU looks to bounce back on road at Vandy

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron walks on the sideline in the second half an NCAA college football game against Mississippi State in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. Mississippi State won 44-34. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

UPDATED, 6 p.m.

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Saturday's Missouri-Louisiana State football game is on the move. The game originally scheduled for 8 p.m. in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, will now kick off at 11 a.m. in Columbia, multiple sources confirmed to the Post-Dispatch on Tuesday. The schools and the Southeastern Conference are expected to formally announce the change in venue at 9 a.m. Wednesday. KOMU-TV in Columbia and other outlets have reported the same.

With the looming threat of Hurricane Delta, Missouri athletics department officials and their LSU counterparts have been discussing contingency plans for Saturday's game for several days. Tropical Storm Delta was classified as a Category 4 hurricane on Tuesday and could make landfall in the Gulf states by Friday, the National Hurricane Center posted in a news advisory.

"We are closely monitoring Hurricane Delta and are in close communication with SEC and University of Missouri Athletics officials on contingency plans should they become necessary," LSU said in a statement released earlier Tuesday. "At this time, it is too early to make a determination on any impact the storm may have on Saturday’s football game against Missouri. The game remains scheduled for 8 p.m. CT on Saturday in Tiger Stadium. We will continue to update our fans throughout the week as more information becomes available." 

As of Tuesday, the schools had not discussed any potential neutral-site locations, a source confirmed. 

According to the National Hurricane Center, Delta is expected to pass southwest of the Cayman Islands through early Tuesday afternoon and move over the northeastern portion of the Yucatan peninsula late Tuesday night or early Wednesday then move over the southern Gulf of Mexico Wednesday afternoon.

Later this week, Delta is expected to bring heavy rainfall and flash and urban flooding to portions of the central Gulf Coast, Tennessee Valley and southeastern U.S., the Hurricane Center said Tuesday.

Similar storms have canceled, postponed or moved LSU home games in the past. Most recently, in 2016, LSU's home game against the Florida Gators had to be moved to Gainesville, Florida, and rescheduled for six weeks later because of Hurricane Matthew. In 2017, Hurricane Harvey forced LSU to move its season opener against Brigham Young from Houston to New Orleans.

Mizzou and LSU have the same bye week this season, Nov. 7, but those open dates were set to give teams schedule flexibility in case of COVID-19 outbreaks.  

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