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Mizzou football opener moved to Thursday night kickoff

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Texas A&M beats Missouri 35-14

Missouri Tiger Head Coach Eli Drinkwitz paces on the sidelines during a football game between the Missouri Tigers and the Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021 on Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium in Columbia. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Missouri football team's season-opening game is on the move: The Tigers will host Louisiana Tech on Thursday, Sept. 1 instead of the original Saturday kickoff scheduled for Sept. 3. The game will kick off at 7 p.m. on ESPNU, the SEC announced Friday.

"Opening up 2022 in front of a prime-time national television audience on ESPNU is a tremendous way to kick off the football season," Mizzou athletics director Desireé Reed-Francois said. "Fans can visit Columbia on Thursday night and join us in creating yet another memorable experience for our student-athletes before enjoying the extended Labor Day weekend. We want to give our Tigers every chance to be successful and will take advantage of having an earlier report date and additional practice days leading into our road opener at Kansas State on Sept. 10."

"What an exciting way to start the season and the Labor Day weekend," Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz said. "We can't wait to see a strong fan and student turnout for a national TV game under the lights of Faurot Field."

Also, as is tradition, Mizzou's regular-season finale against Arkansas in Columbia will move to Friday, Nov. 25, the day after Thanksgiving and will air on CBS.

Mizzou added Louisiana Tech to the schedule in January, replacing what would have been a season-opening road game at Middle Tennessee. It will mark Mizzou's first regular-season Thursday game since a 2015 home loss to Mississippi State. 

This will be the first-ever meeting between Missouri and Louisiana Tech. First-year coach Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Cumbie took over the program this offseason after more than a decade as an offensive assistant at TCU and Texas Tech. Louisiana Tech canceled a game at Baylor to make room for the trip to Mizzou. Mizzou is paying Louisiana Tech $500,000 to play in Columbia, MU confirmed in January.

Also, the SEC announced Tennessee's home game against Ball State will move from Sept. 3 to Sept. 1 with a 6 p.m. kickoff on SEC Network.

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