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Hurricane Delta bearing down, Orgeron says LSU may leave Thursday

A night home game in Death Valley now is a morning road game at Missouri.

Nonetheless, LSU coach Ed Orgeron is thanking his athletics director, Scott Woodward, for streamlining the Tigers' gameday operations. Defending national champion, LSU visits Florida Oct. 17.

“I do believe it would have been very difficult to play an 8 o'clock game and travel back Sunday and get back at 4 o'clock in the morning,” Orgeron said Wednesday on the SEC Coaches' teleconference. “Playing an 11 o'clock game, we're going to be back in Baton Rouge around 6 or 7 that night.

“Our team and coaches are going to get more rest.”

The SEC formally announced it was moving this week's scheduled home game for LSU to Missouri, due do the forecasted path of Hurricane Delta and also, the league emphasized, the fact that the Missouri campus already has established structured COVID-19 guidelines and protocols. The COVID element has emerged as an additional logistical variable this season.

"Due to the pending impact of Hurricane Delta on Louisiana and the surrounding area, it is in the best interest for the safety of everyone involved to move the game to Columbia," SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said in the league's release that formalized the location change. "It was critical to relocate the game to an SEC campus where SEC COVID-19 management protocols are in place and readily applied. I appreciate the cooperation of the schools who are working closely to make the appropriate operational adjustments in order to prioritize the health and safety of our student-athletes while accommodating this change in the schedule."

Orgeron said the Tigers may depart as soon as Thursday.

“I don't know if we're going to leave Friday night or Thursday night; it depends,” Orgeron said. “We're going to practice Friday in Missouri, have a little walk-through at a facility there. They have a 60-yard center we're going to use.”

Ultimately, Orgeron said LSU cannot be distracted by this week's off-the-field variables. The Tigers notched their first win on the season last week at Vanderbilt after losing their home- and season-opener against Mississippi State.

With this game moved to Missouri, LSU's schedule shifted to three-straight road games before its next scheduled home game Oct. 24 against South Carolina.

“We're going to travel to Missouri, don't blink and hopefully get us a big road win,” he said.