Florida’s matchup with LSU is still set for a noon kickoff on Saturday — despite the impending threat of Hurricane Matthew, which prompted the University of Florida to cancel classes for Friday — according to an update released by the program at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
We are working closely with local, state and University officials as well as the Southeastern Conference office to monitor the progress of Hurricane Matthew and its potential impact on campus and the safety of the fans.
As of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, the game is still scheduled to be played on Saturday at noon at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
A final decision on the start time of the game will be made by 1 p.m. on Thursday as we continue to monitor the storm.
The game will not be moved out of Gainesville.
There will be no overnight parking lots for this weekend's game. All lots will open on Saturday at 8 a.m.
The latest forecast tracks for Matthew show it making a close approach to Florida’s east coast on Friday, and potentially landfalling briefly over extreme east central Florida, but also project that the storm will make a relatively swift trek up the coast, likely sitting offshore and to the east of the Georgia-South Carolina border by noon on Saturday.
And given that the weaker half of an Atlantic hurricane is the west side, it is possible that Gainesville itself may not endure much inclement weather from the storm. Current rainfall forecasts suggest little to no rain from Matthew at all will fall in Alachua Country, and wind advisories forecast only about a 50 percent chance of sustained tropical storm-force winds in the Gainesville area — with that threat presumably confined to Friday.
Florida has previously postponed and cancelled games due to inclement weather, with its 2014 season opener against Idaho being cancelled and never made up due to strong thunderstorms and lightning and its scheduled 2004 season opener against Middle Tennessee State being played in October due to the potential threat of Hurricane Frances, which made landfall on Florida’s east coast and took a west-northwesterly track across the state.
Florida’s only other in-season schedule change in the 21st century was the postponement of its 2001 game against Tennessee — a contest that would eventually determine the SEC East — to December, after college football games were cancelled en masse for the third week of the 2001 season in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks.