Yet another FBS game has been affected by one of the most powerful storms the mid-Atlantic region of the country has seen in six decades.
Old Dominion had been scheduled to play at Charlotte on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET in the Conference USA opener for the homestanding 49ers. With Hurricane Florence bearing down on the Carolinas and expected to make landfall as early as Thursday evening, however, Conference USA announced that game will now be played Thursday at 4 p.m. ET.
The game will still be played at Charlotte’s Jerry Richardson Stadium, and will be streamed live on ESPN3.
Below are the statements from the athletic directors of the respective universities.
CHARLOTTE’S MIKE HILL
“We appreciate everyone’s patience as we worked closely with Old Dominion Athletics Director Wood Selig and the conference office to make this decision. Our primary goal in playing this game is to ensure the safety of student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans, and do so without creating an undue burden on our community and its emergency services. I also want to acknowledge the incredible cooperation of Coach Bobby Wilder, Coach Brad Lambert, emergency management officials and our campus partners in this difficult process.
“We waited as long as possible to finalize a decision because of the hurricane’s fluctuating path. With the significant change in the hurricane’s overnight forecast, our options became clear — move the game to Thursday afternoon, or cancel it. Because ODU had already traveled to Charlotte earlier this week, we are able to play the game on Thursday. The 4 pm start allows ODU’s football team to begin its trip back to Virginia ahead of the storm.
“We fully recognize that moving the game date and time inconveniences many of our fans, for which we apologize. However, these are highly unusual circumstances which require uncommon solutions in order to safely complete this football game.”
OLD DOMINION’S DR. WOOD SELIG
“On behalf of our Old Dominion football program, I want to thank Mike Hill and the Charlotte administration for keeping the safety of our student-athletes and fans paramount while working with league and other officials to ensure this conference match up could be maintained despite challenging and changing inclement weather predictions. The flexibility exhibited by both head coaches was also critical throughout this process and Coach Lambert and Wilder are to be commended for their receptivity to a variety of scheduling options over the past 36 -48 hours.”
Including this one, there have now been eight FBS games impacted in some form or fashion by Hurricane Florence. Below are the other seven.
- West Virginia-North Carolina State — canceled.
- UCF-North Carolina — canceled.
- East Carolina-Virginia Tech — canceled.
- Ohio-Virginia — moved from Charlottesville to Nashville.
- Boston College-Wake Forest — moved up from 7:30 p.m. ET Thursday to 5:30 the same day.
- Campbell-Coastal Carolina — moved up from Saturday to Wednesday.
- Norfolk State-Liberty — moved from Saturday to Dec. 1.