Saturday’s game between No. 10 Florida and LSU at “The Swamp” has been postponed after the Gators have seen a surge in positive COVID-19 tests this week, it was announced Wednesday.
The game has tentatively been rescheduled for the SEC’s built-in bye week on Dec. 12, which is the week before the SEC championship.
The SEC said on Twitter that the game was postponed after “positive tests & subsequent quarantine of individuals with the Florida FB program.”
Florida has 18 positives among scholarship players and three walk-ons, athletic director Scott Stricklin said Wednesday. He said each of the players and staff members who tested positive are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms.
“We’ve reached a point where we don’t think it’s appropriate to play this game,” Stricklin said. “When you add in those who are quarantined through contact tracing as a result of those positives in addition to handful of players on the non-COVID list, it gives us less than 50 scholarship players available.”
Florida shut down its football program on Tuesday after a number of tests came back positive.
Stricklin said there is suspicion that the trip to play Texas A&M in College Station, Texas, this past weekend is the root of the outbreak. However, a couple of UF players said they had allergy-type symptoms before leaving for the game and didn’t report it to UF officials.
On Wednesday, Florida coach Dan Mullen said that two assistants have tested positive but that both were asymptomatic.
“As we get more numbers, we’re getting a better idea of trying to trace the origins of it,” Mullen said. “We have not been able to do that.”
Mullen on Wednesday backtracked on a statement made Saturday in which he said he would like to see 100% capacity at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, citing a recent decision by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to lift COVID-19 restrictions that had limited the size of public gatherings.
It’s the second game this week that has been postponed in the SEC, joining Missouri-Vanderbilt.
ESPN’s Andrea Adelson and Mark Schlabach contributed to this report.