The Southeast Missouri Redhawks at the Southern Illinois Salukis football game has been moved to Friday, October 30, both schools announced on Tuesday.
Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois were previously scheduled to meet at Saluki Stadium in Carbondale, Ill., on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. The game, scheduled to kickoff at 7:00pm ET/6:00pm CT, was pushed back one week due to the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We recently had some positive cases and paused workouts with an abundance of caution,” said SEMO Director of Athletics Brady Barke. “We want to make sure our student-athletes are safe in every opportunity they have to compete.”
Southern Illinois, members of the Missouri Valley Football Conference, and Southeast Missouri, members of the Ohio Valley Conference, were both inactive this fall due to the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
The October 30 contest, the only fall action for both schools, will count towards the 2020-21 season record. Both schools plan to play their conference schedule in the spring.
“If we were going to play any game this fall, we were going to play SEMO,” SIU head coach Nick Hill said when the game was announced. “The rivalry, the uniqueness of two Division I schools with the histories of both programs that are 45 minutes away from each other. A lot of the uncertainty of these times is travel, staying in hotels, getting on planes.”
Southern Illinois and Southeast Missouri first met on the gridiron in 1909 in a rivalry that is dubbed the “War for the Wheel.” Southeast Missouri defeated Southern Illinois last season, 44-26, which was the 87th meeting between the two schools.
Seating capacity for the game will be limited to 20 percent, according to an announcement by Southern Illinois. Ticketing will be limited to season-ticket holders, SIU students, and player families only.
“We’re excited to bring football back to our campus and community, and I’m confident in our ability to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for the fans who can attend the game,” SIU Director of Athletics Liz Jarnigan said. “In these trying times, sports provide a welcome break from the hardships we’ve all endured throughout the pandemic.”