CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on Hurricane Florence’s impact on college football (all times local):
The game between North Carolina Central and South Carolina State set for Saturday has been postponed until Nov. 24. The contest was to be South Carolina State’s first home game in Orangeburg, South Carolina, after opening the season at Georgia Southern and UCF the previous two weeks.
The schools both compete in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in the FCS.
MEAC commissioner Dennis Thomas said the game called off due to Hurricane Florence’s approach, citing health and safety considerations for the players and fans.
Orangeburg is about 75 miles from South Carolina’s coast.
The game between East Carolina and No. 13 Virginia Tech is now off the weekend schedule due to Hurricane Florence.
The schools issued statements confirming Saturday’s game wouldn’t be played. East Carolina officials say they had decided the team wouldn’t travel to Blacksburg due to “significant imminent safety concerns,” including “perilous travel conditions before, during and after the storm.”
In its own release, Virginia Tech officials said they had planned to wait until Wednesday to review updated storm projections before making a determination on the game.
ECU officials say they hope to be able to reschedule the game later this season.
The decision brings the total to three games involving ranked teams that won’t be played this weekend due to the Category 4 storm. No. 14 West Virginia’s game at North Carolina State and No. 18 UCF’s game at North Carolina are the others.
Hampton’s football game with Tennessee State has been cancelled due to the threat of Hurricane Florence.
The two schools had announced earlier in the day that the game wouldn’t be played as scheduled Saturday. At the time, a potential makeup date wasn’t announced.
Tennessee State announced later Tuesday afternoon that the game wouldn’t be rescheduled.
Virginia is moving its football game against Ohio to Nashville, Tennessee due to Hurricane Florence’s approach.
Cavaliers athletic director Carla Williams says safety is the top priority in the decision. Relocating the game also will allow emergency personnel in the Charlottesville, Virginia area to focus on regional needs brought by the hurricane.
The Cavaliers (1-1) will face Ohio (1-0) on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at Vanderbilt Stadium. Admission will be free.
Several schools in Virginia and South Carolina aren’t waiting to adjust their schedules with Hurricane Florence looming.
In South Carolina, Charleston Southern’s game at The Citadel on Saturday in Charleston has been postponed to Nov. 29 — as long as neither has qualified for the FCS playoffs.
In Virginia, James Madison has moved its home opener against Robert Morris from Saturday to Thursday night to get ahead of the storm. William & Mary has canceled events from Friday through Sunday, including its football opener against Elon on Saturday.
In addition, Hampton is postponing all athletics events from Friday through Tuesday, including Saturday’s football game against Tennessee State. Neither school announced a date for the games to be played.
It’s unclear when the UCF-North Carolina and West Virginia-North Carolina State games could be rescheduled after Hurricane Florence, if at all.
UNC’s bye weekend is Oct. 6 but UCF hosts SMU that day in an American Athletic Conference matchup. UCF’s only open weekend comes Oct. 27, but that’s when the Tar Heels visit Virginia in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
In its news release, UCF says it’s “unlikely” that the school could replace UNC with another game since there’s a Thursday home game against Temple following its open weekend to leave a short week of preparation.
North Carolina State’s open weekend is Oct. 13, but West Virginia is playing at Iowa State that day. The Mountaineers’ open weekend comes Oct. 20 while the Wolfpack travels to No. 2 Clemson.
The other option is the weekend of Dec. 1, though that could conflict with conference championship games.
Hurricane Florence is forcing Duke to travel early for Saturday’s game at Baylor in Texas.
Duke coach David Cutcliffe says the team will leave Durham on Thursday instead of its typical Friday departure because it’s “our best opportunity to get out.” From there, the Blue Devils will find a high school near Waco to hold a final practice and walk-through before the game.
It’s unclear if some other games in the Carolinas or Virginia could be affected by the storm.
In South Carolina, No. 2 Clemson hosts Georgia Southern in the afternoon while South Carolina hosts Marshall that night.
In Virginia, No. 13 Virginia Tech hosts East Carolina while Virginia and Ohio meet in afternoon games.
North Carolina State’s home game against No. 14 West Virginia won’t take place Saturday with Hurricane Florence approaching the state.
The schools announced the change Tuesday afternoon, citing the “increasing likelihood of severe and unsafe conditions.” The school said the decision came after discussions with West Virginia, the Atlantic Coast Conference and emergency management officials.
It’s unclear if the game will be rescheduled.
North Carolina’s game against No. 18 UCF won’t take place Saturday and Wake Forest’s Thursday night matchup with Boston College will start two hours earlier due to Hurricane Florence.
The Tar Heels were set to play their first home game in Chapel Hill after two road losses. But UNC announced Tuesday afternoon that the game wouldn’t be played as scheduled, though the schools will continue discussions on whether to play the game later this season.
In a statement, UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham called it “the sensible decision at this time” with Florence’s projected path carrying the storm through the state.
The Atlantic Coast Conference also announced that Wake Forest’s game against BC in Winston-Salem will now start at 5:30 p.m. to get done earlier with Florence approaching the Carolinas’ coastline Thursday and Friday.
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