STARKVILLE, Miss. — Saturday’s football game between Mississippi State and No. 24 Auburn at Davis Wade Stadium has been postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests and subsequent contact tracing within the Mississippi State football program. The game has been tentatively rescheduled for Dec. 12.
“Based on positive tests and those considered as close contacts, along with non-COVID injuries, we do not have the minimum number of scholarship student-athletes available for Saturday’s game against Auburn,” MSU director of athletics John Cohen said in a statement. “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. We will continue to follow all established protocols and evaluate the most responsible path to return to the field.”
The Southeastern Conference’s COVID-19 management parameters developed by its Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force includes a minimum threshold of at least 53 scholarship student-athletes available to participate in a game with a minimum number of scholarship players required for some positions. The requirements include one quarterback, seven offensive linemen (including one center) and four defensive linemen.
Details were not released regarding the specific number of MSU players, coaches and staff members who have tested positive and how many are out specifically due to contact tracing. Individuals who test positive must sit out for 10 days and be free of symptoms for three days. Individuals who have come in “high-risk” contact with infected individuals must sit for 14 days.
The Bulldogs ended their four-game losing streak with a 24-17 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday. MSU’s next scheduled game is against No. 12 Georgia in Athens, Georgia, on Nov. 21.
This is the fourth SEC game impacted by the conference’s COVID-19 management requirements. Florida has had contests against LSU and Missouri postponed, while Missouri also had its contest with Vanderbilt moved to later in the year.