Hurricane Florence: No. 14 West Virginia vs. NC State postponed as storm approaches
The Mountaineers were scheduled to travel to Raleigh for a Week 3 game as Hurricane Florence looms
The impending arrival of Hurricane Florence, now a frighteningly large storm, is of Week 3 games around college football. The biggest game that has been affected as a result of the hurricane is No. 14 West Virginia's road trip to play NC State in Raleigh.
On Tuesday afternoon, NC State announced that the game "will not be played this weekend" but stopped short of saying it was canceled. "Should this game be rescheduled or a replacement home game be scheduled, tickets for the West Virginia game will be valid," the release read. "If this game or a replacement home game is not viable, a refund will be offered to season ticket holders. Details will be communicated at a later date."
An earlier report that the game had been canceled was disputed by one of NC State's associate athletic directors, Fred Demarest.
Whether this game will actually be rescheduled remains to be seen, but the options are limited, to say the least. Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen has already told reporters the game is either being played at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday or not at all.
"The only bit of advice that I have given is that we're not going to try to outsmart this system," Holgorsen said via the Dominion Post. "I'm not going to move it to a different location, try to move it up or push it back. That disrupts so many people. It disrupts too many things. We have a plan to play 3:30 on Saturday. If we can't, then we're not going to play it.
"It's real. It's dangerous," he added. "We're not going to put any student-athletes in danger, first and foremost. There's going to be a whole lot of people affected by this."
Holgorsen doesn't make those calls, but it would be a strong statement from which to back down later. His point about the logistical nightmares of rescheduling the game is notable. Nothing about moving an event with 200+ participating individuals and thousands of spectators is easy. The security needed alone is an issue. So would be the sudden change in ticketing. It's a massive undertaking.
It's not impossible, of course. Other games have been rescheduled like Norfolk State vs. Liberty, but that's for Dec. 1. Neither WVU nor NC State would be committed to that date just yet as it is conference championship weekend -- though that could change at a later date. Rescheduling gets even trickier once both teams get into conference play. The Wolfpack have their bye on Oct. 13 and West Virginia's is the following Saturday, Oct. 20. In either case, someone's going to have to play three games in two weeks.
Candidly, this game doesn't matter enough to be moved or rescheduled. It's a fun matchup, but the implications aren't high enough. Not playing NC State will not diminish 1) West Virginia's Big 12 Championship Game hopes and 2) quarterback Will Grier's Heisman campaign.
Oh, and yeah -- it's a hurricane. That matters a great deal to NC State, whose players and coaches have real problems with which to deal. Forcing a team to travel to Morgantown when their collective minds are on their family, friends and general evacuation is some heartless stuff. If Holgorsen's now-or-never scenario is indeed the ultimatum here, this game is leaning heavily towards the "never" category. There seems to be no good reason to do anything other than ultimately cancel this game.
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