STARKVILLE • The Mississippi State football team is still planning to play in Georgia this weekend, head coach Mike Leach said on Monday.
Mississippi State had to postpone its football game against Auburn last weekend due to positive COVID-19 tests and subsequent quarantine of individuals inside the MSU program.
There were rumors leading into Monday afternoon about this weekend’s game also being postponed, and more rumors circulated early on Monday after Ole Miss athletic director Keith Carter said there was a possibility that the Egg Bowl could be moved up a week. It is currently slated for Nov. 28 at 3 p.m.
But in Monday’s weekly press conference, Leach said his Bulldogs are still on track to play Georgia at 6:30 p.m. in Athens on Saturday.
“We are prepared to play against Georgia and that’s what we’ve heard predominately,” Leach said. “There are rumors swirling and things like that. If anyone of them happen to be true, you guys might know it before I do. If you do, I’d appreciate if you alert me immediately so I can prepare accordingly.”
Mississippi State had fewer than the 53 required players last week, so the Bulldogs had trouble practicing when they were allowed back on the field. Leach said it’s impossible to get the same amount of work done with players out, and there’s a big difference in practicing with a full team and only a handful of players.
The team was able to get reps, but one position group being short on players limits what the other groups can do in team scenarios. When asked if his team would be short players or have enough this week, Leach said he is hoping there are enough players to play.
“I hope so,” Leach said. “I don’t have a crystal ball on this and some of these cat’s science is different. So who knows. Everybody follows the science but none of the science is congruent and it all contradicts each other. So I’ll just follow their process and go the direction they point me.”
With games being postponed and rescheduled all around the Southeastern Conference, it is still possible that the game will be changed and Mississippi State could end up playing a team other than Georgia this Saturday.
If that happens, Leach said it will be an “unmitigated torturous nuisance.”
“I mean, Cal and UCLA got 36 hours notice or something crazy,” Leach said. “It would be very difficult. I’ve been up all night last night watching film and taking notes and writing stuff down and I’ll be at it tonight to try and pinpoint things a little bit and then all of a sudden for them to change, that would be a little tough.”