Mizzou's season opener slated for Thursday night
Missouri will get a little earlier start on the 2022 football season than anticipated. The Southeastern Conference and the school announced this afternoon that the Tigers' season opener against Louisiana Tech will be played on Thursday, Sept. 1. The game will be televised at 7:00 on ESPNU.
"What an exciting way to start the season and the Labor Day weekend," head coach Eli Drinkwitz said in a release from the school. "We can't wait to see a strong fan and student turnout for a national TV game under the lights of Faurot Field."
"Opening up 2022 in front of a primetime national television audience on ESPNU is a tremendous way to kick off the football season," Director of Athletics Desireé Reed-Francois said. "Fans can visit Columbia on Thursday night and join us in creating yet another memorable experience for our student-athletes before enjoying the extended Labor Day weekend. We want to give our Tigers every chance to be successful and will take advantage of having an earlier report date and additional practice days leading into our road opener at Kansas State on Sept. 10."
In addition, the league announced that Mizzou's regular season finale against Arkansas will once again be played on Friday afternoon. The Nov. 25 game will be nationally televised by CBS and will kick off at 2:30. This year's game against the Razorbacks is in Columbia.
Mizzou is coming off a 6-7 season that ended with a 24-22 loss to Army in the Armed Forces Bowl. Eli Drinkwitz enters his third season as the Tigers' head coach and opens against a Louisiana Tech team that finished 3-9 in 2021.
The Bulldogs started last year well, losing by just a point to Mississippi State and two points to SMU while beating Southeastern Louisiana and North Texas in the first four weeks of the season. But from there, Tech lost seven of eight with the only win coming over Charlotte.
Louisiana Tech fired Skip Holtz after the season and replaced him with Sonny Cumbie, who had been the offensive coordinator and interim head coach at Texas Tech, his alma mater. At 40, this will be Cumbie's first full-time head coaching job. The matchup with Drinkwitz will feature two of the youngest head coaches in major college football.
The Tigers and Bulldogs have never played each other. The movement of the game will also give Mizzou a couple of extra days before traveling to Kansas State in week two on Saturday, Sept. 10.