Auburn football game at Mississippi State postponed due to COVID-19
AUBURN — It turns out Auburn will have back-to-back open dates.
The Tigers' game at Mississippi State in Starkville on Saturday has been postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests and subsequent quarantine of individuals within the Bulldogs program, the SEC announced Monday afternoon.
The game has been tentatively rescheduled for Dec. 12, one week after what would have been Auburn's regular-season finale against Texas A&M and one week before the SEC Championship game.
The Tigers' next game is scheduled for Nov. 21 at home against Tennessee (6 p.m. CT, ESPN).
The Bulldogs (2-4), who defeated Vanderbilt on Saturday to snap a four-game losing streak, do not meet the SEC's minimum threshold of 53 scholarship players available, according to director of athletics John Cohen.
"While we are disappointed that Saturday’s game has been postponed, our priority is the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes and staff," Cohen said in a statement. "We will continue to follow all established protocols and evaluate the most responsible path to return to the field."
Auburn (4-2) has not reported a positive COVID-19 test within the program since Sept. 12. Coach Gus Malzahn said he would stress the importance of that to players going into last week's open date.
"Be responsible," he said. "That's going to be a huge key to the last four games and our success. So I just challenged them individually, you know, and as a group that let's make sure we do a great job this week, the next two days, this weekend. You know, I really expect our guys to do that."