THE FLATS - Georgia Tech's football game at UCF, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 16, has been canceled due to the effects of Hurricane Irma, the schools announced on Monday.
Two main reasons led to the cancellation of the contest:
1) Heeding Florida Gov. Rick Scott's call for public universities in the state to assist with hurricane preparation and recovery, UCF agreed to host up to 1,000 National Guard members and 250 vehicles on campus. That amount of personnel, in addition to the number and types of vehicles, meant that in and around Spectrum Stadium -- the home of UCF football -- was the best place to stage recovery operations.
2) Many of UCF's football student-athletes evacuated campus and the Orlando area prior to the arrival of the storm. With UCF's campus closed through at least Wednesday, there is no guarantee as to if/when it would be able to reconvene its team for a game on Saturday, regardless of where it would be played.
In addition to relocating the game this weekend, Georgia Tech and UCF officials also discussed playing the game at a later date this season but those efforts proved to be impossible due to the fact that the teams do not have a mutual bye week. In addition to Saturday's game, UCF was also forced to call off last weekend's American Athletic Conference game versus Memphis with Hurricane Irma approaching Florida.
"We are in complete agreement with the decision to cancel Saturday's game," said Georgia Tech director of athletics Todd Stansbury, who served as UCF's A.D. from 2012-15. "While we're disappointed for both teams' student-athletes, coaches and fans, recovering from the effects of Hurricane Irma should be and is the top priority for UCF and the entire state of Florida at this time. We wish them the very best in their recovery efforts and look forward to meeting on the gridiron down the road."
Georgia Tech returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 23 when it opens Atlantic Coast Conference play versus Pittsburgh. Kickoff is set for 12:20 p.m. on the ACC Network.