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With Hurricane Ian expected to hit Florida late Wednesday or early Thursday, the storm is affecting the college football slate this weekend.
So far, three games have changed times and/or locations.
The Florida Gators were scheduled to host Eastern Washington at noon Saturday, but that game has been pushed back 24 hours. It will still be played Sunday in Gainsville.
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The University of South Florida and East Carolina were scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Raymond James Stadium, the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Saturday at 7 p.m. Instead, the game will be played at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton.
“With Hurricane Ian building into a powerful and potentially very impactful storm on the Bay Area, the people and resources in our community, we felt it was in everyone’s best interest to move our game out of the Tampa Bay area,” USF Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly said Tuesday.
“We are very grateful to our friends and colleagues at FAU for their tremendous assistance and cooperation in using their facility to play Saturday’s game and to ECU and the conference for working with us during this time.”
The storm will move north later in the week, which is forcing the South Carolina Gamecocks to move up their game against South Carolina State.
The in-state rivalry has been moved from noon Saturday to 7 p.m. Thursday and will still be played at Williams-Brice Stadium.
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“Due to the potential impact of the hurricane on Columbia and the surrounding area, it is in the best interest of safety to play the game on Thursday rather than Saturday afternoon,” South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner said in a statement. “I appreciate the cooperation of South Carolina State head coach Buddy Pough, the South Carolina State administration and the Southeastern Conference officials who worked closely to make the appropriate operational adjustments in order to accommodate this change in the schedule.
“Based on the current forecast and expected weather conditions as well as information from our campus, state and local law enforcement agencies, at this time, the uwniversity is confident in our ability to host the game on Thursday at Williams-Brice Stadium.”
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Earlier this week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced they will be practicing at the Miami Dolphins’ facility this week, while the Tampa Bay Rays were forced to postpone their postseason ticket sales due to the impending storm.