It will be “games on” as scheduled this weekend at Raymond James Stadium for the USF Bulls, first and then, for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
Both USF and the Buccaneers have been in constant contact with the Tampa Sports Authority about being able to utilize Raymond James Stadium for their scheduled contests this weekend.
The Bucs announced first that they will have their home opener with the Bears Sunday at 1 p.m.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) September 12, 2017
Shortly thereafter USF confirmed that there Friday night game with Big Ten opponent Illinois, who is coached by former Bucs and Bears boss Lovie Smith, will be played as scheduled at 7 p.m.
— USF Football (@USFFootball) September 12, 2017
There had been some doubt about whether the Bulls could play that quickly in the aftermath of hurricane Irma ramming through the area overnight Sunday night and Monday morning.
They will return to practice later on Tuesday after deciding not to travel to UConn to play the Huskies and cancelling their conference opener last Saturday. The intent would be for the Bulls to get two full days of practice in later Tuesday and Wednesday before hosting what would be a large out of conference game for the program.
Meanwhile, for the Buccaneers they had briefly relocated to Charlotte North Carolina this past weekend due to the hurricane. And, players have been off since the game with the Miami Dolphins was cancelled last week due to Irma.
The Bucs intend to gather everyone on Tuesday, and be ready to practice Wednesday and Thursday, and host the game on Sunday.
There actually is a third game that is still scheduled to be played on the Raymond James Stadium turf Saturday.
That will pit Florida A&M and Tennessee State against each other.
So obviously, one of the best fields in the NFL will be tested by the time Tampa Bay and Chicago tee it up Sunday at 1 p.m.