Florence causes USC-Marshall cancellation


The unpredictability involving the arrival and the path of Hurricane Florence has caused the University of South Carolina to cancel its home football game against Marshall on Saturday, while Clemson has switched the starting time of its home contest against Georgia Southern on Saturday.

South Carolina will look for an opportunity to play a 12th game later in the season. Clemson moved the starting time of its game from 3:30 p.m. up to noon.

"Whether or not the game could have been played, we made the decision we think is best for the state and those who are evacuating the coast," said USC athletics director Ray Tanner in a statement released by the school. "There is no question this is the right thing to do and the decision was supported by President (Harris) Pastides, Coach (Will) Muschamp, our Board members and myself."

The decision was made hours after revised forecasts show the potential for a greater impact on South Carolina from Hurricane Florence. The release pointed out that the cancelation of the game will free up hotel rooms across the Midlands for evacuees and allows emergency personnel to be utilized in areas impacted by the storm.

"Marshall athletics director Mike Hamrick and I have been in constant contact throughout the week about the game," added Tanner. "We are in total agreement that this is the correct decision."

In a statement from Clemson, university officials continue to work with emergency management personnel, the Atlantic Coast Conference office and Georgia Southern officials in preparation for Florence and how it may alter operations for the game on Saturday.

As the storm continues to be monitored, additional updates will be distributed by the athletic department. Fans are encouraged to check for the most up-to-date information.

As with last season's home opener vs. Auburn, fans are asked to make plans to arrive early, expect delays in gameday traffic and parking and exercise patience in their commute to and from campus.

It has yet to be determined on which ESPN venue the game will be televised. It was originaly scheduled for ESPN2.

The threat of Florence caused Furman to cancel its non-conference game against Colgate scheduled for Saturday. Presbyterian had a home game against Stetson moved to Stetson's Spec Martin Memorial Stadium in DeLand, Fla. Game time is set for noon.

Also, Limestone moved its South Atlantic Conference opener on the road against Tusculum to Friday at 7 p.m.

Newberry is to play host to Virginia University of Lynchburg today at 1 p.m.

South Carolina State had its Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and home opener against North Carolina Central postponed earlier in the week. The battle of Charleston between Charleston Southern and The Citadel was postponed as well, while Benedict's contest against Fayetteville State was cancelled.

Coastal Carolina played at Campbell on Wednesday.