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LSU AD Alleva: North Texas game on as scheduled barring "unforeseen circumstances"

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer

After a week of speculation, it's all but official: LSU and North Texas will be playing their Saturday 2012 season opener in Baton Rouge as originally scheduled.

Tigers athletic director Joe Alleva told reporters Thursday afternoon that the game is still set for its original 7 p.m. ET kickoff at LSU's Tiger Stadium, despite the impact of Hurricane Isaac along the Gulf Coast and throughout Louisiana.

"Safety is our biggest concern," Alleva said, per the Baton Rouge Advocate. "But we've talked to [Baton Rouge] city police, the sherriff's department, state police, and we think we can get the support we need from them. So barring unforeseen circumstances we're a go at 6 p.m. [local time]"

A final announcement is expected before the end of the business day Thursday, Alleva said, and after his comments, it's hard to imagine the school electing to postpone the game. Some LSU campus services resumed Thursday morning, and the school announced later that classes would resume as well starting Friday.

Alleva said the only visible damage to Tiger Stadium was a torn banner attached to its south scoreboard. Damage on campus has been minimal.

That's not to say that the decision to play the game might not prove controversial in areas closer to the coast and harder hit by Isaac. Per a CBS News report, Louisiana's Public Service Commission said early Thursday that as many as 901,000 homes and businesses across the state -- some 47 percent of customers -- were without power.

Two deaths have been attributed to the storm, with some 500 people needing rescue from floodwaters and thousands more having been evacuated.

Lousiana Tech and Texas A&M elected to postpone their scheduled Thursday night opener in Shreveport, La. to Oct. 13, though both teams' bye on that date may have made their decision easier. FCS Nicholls State, of Thibodaux, La., postponed its road game at Oregon State after encountering travel difficulties.

Tulane, however, elected to proceed with its Saturday night home opener against Rutgers in the unaffected Superdome.

The LSU-North Texas game will be televised on ESPNU.

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