It’s that time of year- Hurricane season, but in this case it’s not a September one aimed at our state, but rather a powerful one that is headed for the Carolinas later this week that has great concern.
As of Monday afternoon, Hurricane Florence is now at 130 mph, and gaining steam. Further, it’s expected to be a powerful “Category Four” storm and expected to do major damage with wind, rain and flooding to the East coast. The current “cone” or predicted path, has Florence making landfall late Thursday evening through Friday morning anywhere from South Carolina to North Carolina to Virginia.
State of Emergencies have been declared. And, evacuations are already taking place.
Now, with the understanding that sports is obviously distant on the priority list, there is still a full slate of college football that is scheduled to be played in that region. This will be starting with Thursday night’s Wake Forest/Boston College ACC game scheduled for Winston-Salem in the middle of North Carolina. It’s probably a matter of time before the ACC moves that game to a different location, if possible, or postpones it, for now.
And, on the Saturday schedule at noon Eastern? UCF is supposed to be traveling to Chapel Hill, NC, (more in the East of the state) to play the Tarheels.
It’s safe to say that every game in the region is at best going to be moved, if not completely cancelled.
This is something that the entire state of Florida dealt with, as game after game was postponed or outright cancelled a year ago because of Hurricane Irma.
The Knights also ended up cancelling their home game with Georgia Tech the following week.
Now, we go back to this weekend.
As it’s a non-conference game, it will UNC’s call primarily as to what to do, in consultation with the authorities and also, for UCF to travel safely.
Certainly, the ACC could steps to help move the UNC game to another location, however, that’s not likely.
At his Sunday afternoon news conference, Knights head coach Josh Heupel was asked about what he knew about the game still being played or not?
“We’re preparing and practicing like we’re in game-week mode. We’re obviously concerned with everybody in that area with the potential of the hurricane moving in.” -Heup pic.twitter.com/J30lj7LYbE
— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) September 10, 2018
“(I) Have no idea what’s going to end up happening with the Hurricane itself, much less the game. So, you just go on preparing as is,” Heupel told the media.
Well, now there is a much better idea of the storm bearing down on that region
If you are wondering, the Knights (October 27th) and North Carolina (October 6th) do not have a mutual off date. So, that complicates the game being made up and jeopardizes it being played altogether.
And for N.C. State in nearby Raleigh, they have an ACC home game with top 10 West Virginia Saturday, and Clemson is hosting Georgia Southern and on and on.
It’s a watch and wait situation, but unless the Heels have an alternate location well to East etc., then the that’s not really going to be an option.
So, the Knights are looking at the possibility of losing a “Power Five” match-up for the second straight year due to a Hurricane.
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