Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hurricane Irma moves up Saturday start times for USF, Florida, FSU games

TAMPA — USF and Connecticut agreed Wednesday to move their Saturday kickoff in Hartford — if it kicks off at all — to 10:30 a.m.

The original start time was noon. The earlier start — and a halftime shortened to 15 minutes — is meant to help the Bulls arrive back in Tampa early Saturday evening, presumably before the bay area feels any potentially severe effects from Hurricane Irma.

The game will be on ESPNews.

The Bulls' schedule was one of many across the state's college football landscape to be tweaked with Irma looming.

Florida and Florida State moved the start of their nonconference home games from prime time to noon. Miami canceled Saturday's game at Arkansas State because of the storm and the fact the nonconference opponents had no shared bye week.

"We made the collective decision that we simply cannot put our student-athletes, coaches and staff in danger traveling to and from contests," Miami athletic director Blake James said.

"As we have seen from the tragic impact of Hurricane Harvey — and from (the region of) South Florida's own experiences — the impacts of hurricanes can be devastating and long-lasting, and can make travel extremely difficult and dangerous."

Even with the earlier start, the status of the USF-UConn game still remains mildly in question. In its official statement, UConn said the morning kickoff is "pending any other significant weather changes that impact travel plans for USF."

"For the past several days, I have been monitoring the potential impacts of Hurricane Irma and consulting with our university leadership, outside agencies, the University of Connecticut and the leadership of the American Athletic Conference," USF athletic director Mark Harlan said in a prepared release.

"At this time, based on the current forecast, we believe that we can travel safely to and from Connecticut for the game. We have alternate return plans should conditions deteriorate faster than expected, and we greatly appreciate the University of Connecticut working with us during this time."

Florida's home opener against Division I-AA Northern Colorado will not be televised, but can be streamed on SEC Network Plus, Watch ESPN and the ESPN app. FSU's home opener against Louisiana-Monroe will air on Raycom Sports affiliates.

Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said the time move was necessary to allow fans to return home ahead of the storm. UF gave up its team hotel rooms for Friday night and asked fans who won't be using their rooms to do the same.

"We ask everyone to consider their own safety first and the safety of others making any kind of plans this weekend because certainly that's the most important thing," Stricklin told reporters Wednesday.

Stricklin said UF continues to work with Northern Colorado to try to find an alternative to the team's Sunday morning commercial flight home.

FSU also postponed the induction ceremony for its Athletics Hall of Fame to Oct. 20, the day before the Louisville game.

Florida International put off new coach Butch Davis' home opener, scheduled for Saturday, and will now play Alcorn State on Friday in Birmingham, Ala.

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Contact Matt Baker at mbaker@tampabay.com.

Hurricane Irma moves up Saturday start times for USF, Florida, FSU games 09/06/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 6, 2017 11:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs have chance to beat Vikings in their third stadium

    Bucs

    Here's a cool sign that the Bucs are getting up there as an NFL franchise: If Tampa Bay can win Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, it will mark the first time the Bucs have posted road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.

    TIMES ARCHIVES (2012) | Bucs RB Doug Martin runs during Tampa Bay's 36-17 win at the Vikings in 2012, in what was then called Mall of America Field. If Tampa Bay wins Sunday, it will mark the first time they have road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.
  2. NFL commissioner, players' union angrily denounce Trump comments on national anthem

    Bucs

    SOMERSET, N.J. — The National Football League and its players' union on Saturday angrily denounced President Donald Trump for suggesting that owners fire players who kneel during the national …

    President Donald Trump walks off the stage after he speaks at campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. [Associated Press]
  3. Matt Peca making case for Lightning spot

    Blogs

    Center Matt Peca said he didn't read too much into the fact he was the only Lightning player to appear in each of the first three exhibition games.

    But Peca, 24, loved it.

    Matt Peca won nine of 10 faceoffs Friday, a skill the Lightning badly needs.
  4. Bucs players respond to Trump comments on anthem protests

    Blogs

    President Donald Trump shared his thoughts Friday night on NFL players protesting during the national anthem, suggesting that NFL owners should "fire" players who kneel during the anthem in protest. His remarks are alreading drawing responses from many NFL players, including some Bucs.

    Bucs players Mike Evans and Jameis Winston stand with coach Dirk Koetter during the national anthem in a game played in San Diego last season.
  5. Rays morning after: Wilson Ramos showing glimpses of what's possible in 2018

    Blogs

    The real payoff for the Rays signing C Wilson Ramos last off-season will come in 2018, when he can play a full season fully recovered from right knee surgery.

    Catcher Wilson Ramos connects for a two-run single in the fifth inning against the Cubs on Sept. 20, 2017.