Alabama-Mississippi start time pushed back by Hurricane Delta

The kickoff for Saturday's game between No. 2 Alabama and Mississippi will come a little later than expected.

Ole Miss announced Thursday the start time for its home game will be pushed back to 7:30 p.m. ET to avoid the worst of Hurricane Delta, which is expected to make its way through Mississippi on Saturday.

"This decision was made with the safety and wellbeing of our student-athletes, staff and fans as the priority," Ole Miss athletics director Keith Carter said in a statement. "I appreciate the cooperation of the SEC, Alabama and ESPN in changing the start time, and we will be prepared to make any other necessary operational adjustments to ensure a safe gameday environment. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those that could be impacted by this storm."

A view of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium before the game between Mississippi and Florida in Oxford, Mississippi, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2020. (Photo: Justin Ford, USA TODAY Sports)

Ole Miss and Alabama were scheduled to play in Oxford on Saturday night at 6 p.m. But with Hurricane Delta expected to be making its way through Mississippi all day, the decision to reschedule the game comes in the interest of caution and the safety of players and fans alike.

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The game will still be broadcast on ESPN as originally scheduled. Limited fans will still be allowed in the stadium and gates will open at 4:30 p.m., 90 minutes later than originally planned.

Weather forecasts for Saturday in Oxford predict a 90% chance of rain and winds that can reach as high as 13 mph. Hurricane Delta is expected to make landfall on the Gulf Coast Friday afternoon. As of Tuesday, Delta was a Category 4 storm.

Ole Miss-Alabama isn't the only SEC game forced to relocate because of Hurricane Delta. This weekend's matchup between LSU and Missouri was relocated from Baton Rouge to Columbia, Missouri because Baton Rouge is expected to be directly in the path of the storm. That game will kick off at noon instead of the evening time it was originally scheduled for.

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