WINSTON-SALEM – Three major non-conference football games have been called off this weekend as Hurricane Florence approaches the Carolinas. No. 14 West Virginia’s visit to North Carolina State, along with No. 18 Central Florida’s game at North Carolina, were nixed from Saturday’s schedule because of concerns about the forecast path of the hurricane, which was elevated to a Category 4 storm on Tuesday.
No. 13 Virginia Tech also won’t play its home game against East Carolina on Saturday. The Pirates opted not to travel to Blacksburg, Va., for the game, citing safety concerns.
School officials announced early Tuesday afternoon that the games are off.
Meanwhile, the ACC game Thursday night between visiting Boston College and Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, N.C., has been moved up two hours to a 5:30 p.m. ET kickoff.
Hurricane models project landfall by Thursday, but some expect the storm to hit North Carolina and others project a dramatic rotation north, bringing heavy rain to the Carolinas and high winds and potential for a disastrous flood incident to Virginia and West Virginia.
Based on releases from the schools, it sounds like the possibility of a makeup date for West Virginia-NC State is more likely. It’s also possible that the teams could find other opponents with similar open dates to fill out the schedules. NC State’s next game is Sept. 22 at Marshall. North Carolina opens Atlantic Coast Conference play on that same day at home against Pittsburgh.
Central Florida and North Carolina have never met in football, but the teams also have meetings scheduled in 2020, 2024 and 2025.
National Hurricane Center director Ken Graham said in Raleigh, N.C., on Tuesday that Florence is “staggering” in size and reminded residents that with potential for more than 20 inches of rain over a three- to five-day period, this will not be only a “coastal event.”
South Carolina and Clemson still have home games scheduled Saturday.
Virginia will move its Saturday home game against Ohio from Charlottesville to Nashville, where the two teams will play at Vanderbilt’s stadium.
Duke is planning to leave early for Saturday’s game at Baylor.
The Washington Redskins, scheduled for their home opener Sunday, are monitoring the weather but are not expected to be impacted based on the forecast.