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Mizzou football opener moved to Thursday in primetime, Arkansas game to Black Friday

Arkansas Missouri Football
Posted at 5:20 PM, May 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-25 18:20:59-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Mizzou football team announced two changes to its 2023 schedule.

The Tigers’ season-opener against South Dakota has been moved up two days and the annual Battle Line Rivalry against Arkansas also was moved to Black Friday.

MU’s opener against the Coyotes, originally scheduled for Sept. 2, has been moved to Thursday, Aug. 31, and will kick off at 7 p.m. from Memorial Stadium on the SEC Network.

"A primetime game under the lights of Faurot Field is an awesome way to open the season," Tigers football coach Eliah Drinkwitz said in a statement. "We appreciate our administration, the SEC and South Dakota for accommodating the date change. We believe this allows our student section and the best fans in the country to show out loud and proud and lead into Labor Day weekend in Missouri the right way!"

Athletic Director Desireé Reed-Francois called it a “tremendous opportunity.”

"We listened to our fans after last year's season opener and wanted to create another memorable experience to open the 2023 season,” she said in a statement. “Our student section and the crowd set the tone that night and built a season-long, home-field advantage. We look forward to welcoming everyone home to Columbia on August 31 inside Faurot Field."

Mizzou hopes to make the game a black, gold and white Tiger Stripe game.

It’s the fourth weeknight game at Memorial Stadium since 2009.

CBS also announced Thursday that the Mizzou-Arkansas game will be played on Friday, Nov. 24, with kickoff set for 3 p.m. in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

The game has been played annually on Black Friday for each of the last nine seasons, except for the 2020 season, which was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic when the game was played in December.

The Tigers are 6-2 against the Razorbacks on Black Friday and 7-2 overall against Arkansas since joining the SEC.

Mizzou is coming off a 6-7 season, including a loss to Wake Forest in the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl.

The Tigers also finished 6-7 in 2021, losing to Army in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl.

MU went 5-5 during the 2020 season, Drinkwitz’s first with the program, but their bowl game against Iowa was canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak among players.