Coral Gables, Fla. — The Miami Hurricanes decided to take the weekend off, and many other teams around the state of Florida kept a very cautious eye Wednesday on powerful and destructive Hurricane Irma as it churned across the Atlantic on a path toward the U.S.
No. 16 Miami canceled its game at Arkansas State, in part out of concern the Hurricanes might get stranded away from home if the storm strikes South Florida.
No. 10 Florida State and No. 22 Florida moved up their Saturday home games to midday starts, out of caution. A slew of other events were either cancelled or rescheduled, all in deference to the storm that forecasters believe might start affecting the state by Saturday — possibly as a direct hit.
“This is about what’s best for our students, coaching staff and their families,” Miami athletic director Blake James said, after telling Arkansas State about the decision that wasn’t exactly warmly received. “We’re not confident that we were going to get back after the game and we weren’t going to leave our players stranded somewhere. There’s bigger things than football.”
Arkansas State athletic director Terry Mohajir said his team offered several options to Miami, including moving the game to Friday night.
“Ultimately, the Miami administration made the decision not to travel,” Mohajir said.
Florida State and Florida were both going to play night games as their home openers this weekend, with the Seminoles facing Louisiana-Monroe and the Gators playing host to Northern Colorado.
“It won’t affect us until much later in the week,” Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher said.
Tennessee coach Butch Jones says injured wide receiver Jauan Jennings is out “indefinitely.”
Jones didn’t specify the nature of Jennings’ injury.
... Travel concerns prompted officials to move the start of Saturday’s football game between No. 21 South Florida and UConn to 10:30 a.m.
The game had been scheduled for noon in East Hartford, Connecticut, well out of Hurricane Irma’s path.
... Florida will be without freshman receiver James Robinson indefinitely because of a heart issue.