mostlycloudy
Tuesday November 21st, 2017 10:55PM

No. 23 Tennessee, No. 24 Florida to play as scheduled

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — After inspecting the stadium, meeting with campus and city officials, and assessing available resources, Florida decided its Southeastern Conference opener against Tennessee would be played as scheduled.

So it's game on in Gainesville.

The SEC announced Tuesday that the league opener between the No. 23 Volunteers (2-0) and the 24th-ranked Gators (0-1) will remain a 3:30 p.m. kickoff at Florida Field on Saturday, keeping the game intact less than a week after Hurricane Irma devastated parts of the Sunshine State.

Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said the decision was made after meeting with local officials. "The Swamp" sustained only minor damage to signage.

"While we know how important it is for this campus and the Gainesville community to host a game, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those that have been impacted by the storm, and we are thankful for the support Floridians have received during this time," Stricklin said.

Stricklin encouraged fans to arrive early and to expect traffic congestion and delays because of ongoing hurricane cleanup efforts.

The Volunteers expressed little concern about the game being playing in Gainesville.

"We'll play wherever," quarterback Quinten Dormady said. "That's got to be our mindset, and I think that is this team's mindset. Wherever we play, we're going to go out and compete and do what we can to win at the end."

Added defensive end Kyle Phillips: "I don't care where we play. I don't care if we play here, Atlanta, Gainesville, wherever. I'm just ready to play wherever."

The Gators canceled their home opener because of the impending hurricane, which passed through Gainesville early Monday. It's unclear how much practice and meeting time Florida missed in the past week. The Volunteers, meanwhile, beat Indiana State 42-7 on Saturday in Knoxville, Tennessee.

There had been concern whether the Tennessee-Florida game could and would be played in Gainesville. Gas has been scarce across the state, and flooding and loss of electricity remain significant issues for Florida residents.

Florida officials assessed all resources, most notably whether enough first-responders and staffers would be available to work the game and make it a safe environment.

"The University of Florida has been diligent in assessing the impact of Hurricane Irma on the Gainesville community and has made a thoughtful decision in moving forward with the game," SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said. "We appreciate the communication, coordination and cooperation among the many agencies and groups necessary to produce a game in a safe environment. Our prayers remain with the people of Florida as well as Texas as they recover from Hurricanes Irma and Harvey."

Florida has dealt with hurricanes in each of the last two years. The LSU-Florida game in 2016 was postponed a month and relocated to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, because of Hurricane Matthew. The Gators responded with one of their best wins of the season against the Tigers.

They could use an equally impressive performance against Tennessee. Florida is trying to avoid the program's first 0-2 start since 1971.

The Vols ended an 11-game losing streak in the series last year. They haven't won consecutive games against Florida since 2003-04.

"We appreciate the communication from both our friends in Gainesville and the conference office as this assessment was made," Tennessee AD John Currie said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by Hurricane Irma and other recent storms throughout the SEC footprint, and we're grateful for the opportunity to travel to Florida this weekend."

___

AP Sports Writer Steve Megargee in Knoxville, Tennessee, contributed to this report.

___

More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

___

HURRICANE NEWSLETTER - Get the best of the AP's all-formats reporting on Irma and Harvey in your inbox: http://apne.ws/ahYQGtb

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, College Sports, AP Sports - College Football
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
J.J. Abrams to write and direct 'Star Wars: Episode IX'
J.J. Abrams is returning to 'Star Wars,' and will replace Colin Trevorrow as writer and director of 'Episode IX.'
3:49PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Investigators fault driver in Tesla Autopilot crash
NTSB: The first known fatal crash of a highway vehicle operating under an automated control system was partially the result of a driver's over reliance on the technology
3:49PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Senate GOP struggles with deficit in work on budget, taxes
The Republican Senate leader and members of the Budget Committee are scrambling to come up with a budget deal to clear the way for the first tax overhaul in three decades
3:47PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: USGA postpones Women's Mid-Amateur in Naples
The Latest: Damage caused by Hurricane Irma has prompted the USGA to postpone the Women's Mid-Amateur in Naples
3:26PM ( 37 minutes ago )
No. 23 Tennessee, No. 24 Florida to play as scheduled
No. 23 Tennessee and 24th-ranked Florida will play as scheduled Saturday in Gainesville
3:20PM ( 44 minutes ago )
Charles Oakley sues Knicks owners, claiming defamation
Former New York Knicks star Charles Oakley has sued the team's owners, saying he was defamed when they claimed he committed assault and was an alcoholic
3:14PM ( 49 minutes ago )
AP Sports
The Latest: Tennessee, Florida play scheduled game Saturday
No. 23 Tennessee and 25th-ranked Florida will play their scheduled football game Saturday in Gainesville
12:20PM ( 3 hours ago )
Buccaneers, USF will host games in Tampa this weekend
Despite dealing with Irma, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play host to the Chicago Bears on Sunday
11:07AM ( 4 hours ago )
Awkward 'MNF' debut makes ESPN's Sergio Dipp an online star
ESPN sideline reporter Sergio Dipp has become an unlikely star of "Monday Night Football" thanks to an awkward debut
8:23AM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Online Football
Mayfield sorry for planting Oklahoma flag at Ohio State
Baker Mayfield apologized for his postgame flag celebration following Oklahoma's win at Ohio State
3:56PM ( 1 day ago )
Oklahoma's Mayfield apologizes for flag incident at Ohio St.
Baker Mayfield apologized for his postgame flag celebration following Oklahoma's win at Ohio State
1:10PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Top 25 Heat Check: Oklahoma, Ohio State switch places
Oklahoma has not been this close to being No. 1 since early in the 2011 season
2:02AM ( 1 day ago )
College Sports
Barkley scores twice, No. 4 Penn State tops Pitt 33-14
Trace McSorley throws for 3 TDs as No. 4 Penn State beats Pittsburgh 33-14
9:06PM ( 2 days ago )
Irma pushes Miami at FSU game back to Oct. 7
Hurricane Irma has already forced Miami and Florida State to move their game _ scheduled for next weekend _ to Oct. 7.
8:25PM ( 2 days ago )
Jalen Hurts leads No. 1 Alabama past Fresno State, 41-10
Jalen Hurts rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns and passed for a third score in No. 1 Alabama's 41-10 victory over Fresno State
8:17PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - College Football
J.J. Abrams to write and direct 'Star Wars: Episode IX'
J.J. Abrams is returning to 'Star Wars,' and will replace Colin Trevorrow as writer and director of 'Episode IX.'
3:49PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Investigators fault driver in Tesla Autopilot crash
NTSB: The first known fatal crash of a highway vehicle operating under an automated control system was partially the result of a driver's over reliance on the technology
3:49PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Senate GOP struggles with deficit in work on budget, taxes
The Republican Senate leader and members of the Budget Committee are scrambling to come up with a budget deal to clear the way for the first tax overhaul in three decades
3:47PM ( 16 minutes ago )
The Latest: Florida hoping to replenish its gas stations
Florida's emergency management director says officials are trying to get gas flowing to stations as quickly as possible
3:45PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Protests over French labor overhaul grip Paris, other cities
The Eiffel Tower saw service cutbacks, angry carnival workers snarled traffic around the Arc de Triomphe and police used water cannon and tear gas as unions held protests in Paris and elsewhere against planned changes to French labor laws
3:41PM ( 22 minutes ago )