Florida State and Florida canceled their Saturday home football games Thursday because of Hurricane Irma.
No. 10 Florida State was set to play Louisiana-Monroe, and No. 22 Florida was scheduled to face Northern Colorado.
No. 21 South Florida and Connecticut called off their game in Connecticut because of travel concerns. Central Florida called off its Friday night home game with Memphis. The Memphis-UCF game had been moved from Saturday to Friday because of the threat.
The cancellations came after Florida Gov. Rick Scott ordered all state colleges and universities closed through Monday to support shelter and emergency relief efforts.
“As the hurricane’s track has approached the state of Florida, it’s become obvious that playing a football game is not the right thing to do,” Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said.
“The focus of our state and region needs to be on evacuations and relief efforts. There is a tremendous amount of stress currently on the roads of this state, and the availability of gas, water and other supplies are at critical levels. Playing a college football game would only add to that stress.”
Last year, the LSU-Florida game was postponed a month and relocated to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, because of Hurricane Matthew.
Florida State has more than a dozen players on its roster who are from South Florida, which is expected to receive the greatest brunt of the hurricane.
Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher added that some of the players’ families have come up to the area and that the school is making sure they have somewhere to go. Fisher also said the NCAA has been helpful with granting waivers so that the university can provide assistance.
“It’s a very tough thing to juggle,” Fisher said. “You just communicate with them and communicate with their families. This is a football game. That’s life and death and very critical. It can be disturbing, but I think our guys have handled it well.”
Eastern Michigan-Rutgers preview
Rutgers took a major step in its rebuilding under Chris Ash when it showed it could be competitive against a nationally ranked team last week.
With 10 straight losses in a row over the last two seasons, the Scarlet Knights need to take the next step.
They have to start winning, and they’ll get that chance Saturday when they play host to Eastern Michigan (1-0) of the Mid-America Conference at High Point Solutions Stadium.
Eastern is coming off a 24-7 win over Charlotte, the fewest points the Eagles have given up in an opener since 2008.
Eagles coach Chris Creighton was impressed watching the videotape of the Scarlet Knights against Washington.
“It was frightening how fast and physical they were in all three phases of the game,” said Creighton, who picked up his 150th career win last week.
“(They’re) definitely trying to put a stake in the ground and create an identity and prove a point.”
Central Michigan-Kansas preview
Everything Kansas coach David Beaty envisioned when he landed junior college transfer Peyton Bender and plucked offensive coordinator Doug Meacham from TCU manifested itself in the first quarter of the Jayhawks’ season-opening rout of Southeast Missouri State.
Bender threw four touchdown passes and finished with 364 yards through the air.
The Jayhawks hope to duplicate the effort against Central Michigan Saturday.
Bender and Meacham could have their work cut out for them. The Chippewas picked off six passes — and needed every one of them — in a season-opening, triple-overtime victory over Rhode Island. Justin Cox and Amari Coleman each had two of them.
“All around I thought our defensive played amazing, they did really well with (the offense) not getting into the in end zone as many times as we wanted to,” Central quarterback Shane Morris said. “They did a great job. Six picks. Unbelievable. I’ve never been part of a game like that.”