For at least one Florida FBS team, there’s some semblance of post-Irma normalcy when it comes to football.
South Florida confirmed Tuesday morning that its game against Illinois scheduled for Friday night at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa will go off as planned. USF, whose game at UConn in Week 2 was canceled because of travel concerns getting back home because of Hurricane Irma, will practice today for the first time in a week in preparations for the Illini game.
“We are grateful that our student-athletes, staff and their families are safe and accounted for,” said USF athletic director Mark Harlan in a statement. “After consulting with university leadership and the Tampa Sports Authority, we are confident that Friday’s game can proceed safely as scheduled without impacting the recovery efforts. Our thoughts remain with all of those impacted by the hurricane in Florida and elsewhere, and we express sincere gratitude to all first-responders for their efforts.”
The move to play this game comes not long after it was announced that Florida International had canceled its Week 3 game against Indiana in Bloomington.
Five of the seven recently-completed Week 2 games involving FBS teams from the state of Florida were canceled ahead of Irma making landfall. FIU’s home game against Alcorn State, originally scheduled to be played in Miami, was moved to Birmingham, Ala. Florida Atlantic’s game against Wisconsin in Madison over the weekend went off as originally planned, although the Owls will be holed up on that campus indefinitely.
In addition to the FIU-Indiana and Illinois-USF games, Georgia Tech’s Week 3 game against Central Florida has already been canceled. The Miami-Florida State game scheduled for this weekend was moved to next month over the weekend. Prior to today’s announcement, there had been talk that the Illinois-USF game could be moved to Champaign or outright canceled.
Still up in the air as well are FAU’s home game against Bethune-Cookman and Florida hosting Tennessee in Gainesville.