The LSU Tigers vs. Florida Gators game is not happening this weekend. According to Brooks Kubena of The Advocate, the big SEC matchup is expected to be postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak with Florida this week. There have now been 14 FBS games that have been either postponed or canceled this season because of coronavirus concerns. Florida is expected to hold a press conference later today.
It's been reported that 19 Florida players tested positive for COVID-19 this week and an additional 10 players will have to quarantine due to possible exposure to the virus. In order to play an SEC game, at least 53 scholarship players have to be available, according to the guidelines. Additionally, there are requirements for position groups. Seven scholarship offensive linemen have to be available as well as one quarterback and four defensive linemen.
"The University of Florida football team has experienced an increase in positive COVID tests among players this week. Out of an abundance of caution, team activities are paused as of Tuesday afternoon," Florida Gators athletic director Scott Stricklin said in a statement. "Head coach Dan Mullen has been in communication with football players and their parents, and I have had conversations with the Southeastern Conference office, last week's opponent Texas A&M, and this week's opponent LSU."
If a team doesn't have 53 scholarship players available, they still have the option to play the game. If not, the game will be rescheduled or declared a no contest. LSU coach Ed Orgeron told reporters this week he wouldn't be surprised if the game is postponed. He said: "Obviously 2020 is what we're dealing with. I really think that the safety of the kids is the primary focus this week. So, if it's safe for us to play, we're going to play. If the best thing is for us not to play, we shouldn't play."
Both the Tigers and Gators are coming off disappointing losses. Florida head coach Dan Mullen was looking for a packed stadium this weekend since the COVID-19 restrictions in the state have been lifted. "I certainly hope our university administration follows the governor," Mullen said. "The governor has passed a rule that we're allowed to pack the Swamp and have 90,000 in the Swamp to give us the home-field advantage Texas A&M had today."