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OU football: Sooners' season opener vs Missouri State moved to Aug. 29

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Riley and Castiglione

OU coach Lincoln Riley with athletic director Joe Castiglione after the Sooners won the Red River Showdown at the Cotton Bowl Oct. 12, 2019.

OU football's season opener vs Missouri State in Norman has been moved from Sept. 5 to Aug. 29 during zero week, according to an announcement from OU's athletic department Saturday.

Both teams submitted waivers to the NCAA on July 10 requesting permission to move the game up one week to allow more time for potential COVID-19 testing and recovery in between games.

With the NCAA's granting of the petitions, OU will have two weeks between its season opener and its week-two home game against Tennessee. Thanks to a bye, the Sooners will also have two weeks between the Tennessee game and their matchup with Army in West Point, New York.

"If the season is indeed permitted to start as scheduled, the benefit of extra time between games will help our teams manage any variety of possible circumstances that may occur," OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said in a Saturday press release.

"Our original schedule had an open date between the second and third games, so now we will have a span of five weeks to play three games. It provides us a more gradual approach to safely manage the conditions of these unprecedented times. We're thankful to Missouri State for their cooperation during this process and to the NCAA for allowing both teams to start the season a week earlier."

OU athletics says other details pertaining to the home opener such as potential stadium capacity limitations, revised game day procedures and new safety protocols will be announced in the coming weeks.

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Mason Young is a journalism sophomore and The Daily's assistant sports editor. He covers OU football and previously covered OU women's gymnastics and former Sooners in the NFL. He has also spent some time as a senior news reporter for The Daily.

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