CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Hurricane Wilma is giving Miami and
Georgia Tech the weekend off.
With Wilma expected to arrive with potentially devastating force
in Florida this weekend, school and Atlantic Coast Conference
officials postponed Saturday's game between the Yellow Jackets and
No. 20 West Virginia's trip to Tampa to face South Florida was rescheduled for Dec. 3. The game had been set for Saturday.
Central Florida's home game with Tulane -- a team forced from its
city, school and home stadium by Katrina's strike along the Gulf
coast -- will be played on Friday night, instead of Saturday.
"Unfortunately, we have a lot of experience in dealing with
these situations," said Tulane athletic director Rick Dickson.
The ACC announced that Miami's game against Georgia Tech would be played on Saturday, Nov. 19, forcing the Hurricanes to reschedule their Nov. 17 game at Wake Forest for Saturday, Nov. 12.
It's the fourth time a hurricane has necessitated a schedule
switch of a Miami home game; Hurricane Georges postponed a game
with UCLA for more than two months in 1998, Temple's visit in 1999
was pushed back nearly three months by Hurricane Irene; and Florida
State's trip south for the 2004 season-opener was delayed nearly a
week by Hurricane Frances.
"These things are serious," Miami coach Larry Coker said. "We
know that. If we don't know it, we should just reflect back a few
weeks to Katrina. It came through here as a Category 1 and trust
me, we don't want to see much more."
Wilma was a Category 5 storm Wednesday, with maximum sustained
winds of 165 mph. It was expected to hit southwestern Florida, then
move quickly across the state and perhaps close to the greater
Miami area by early Sunday.
Wilma would be the eighth hurricane to either strike or brush
Florida since August 2004.
"That thing looks pretty dangerous to me," Georgia Tech coach
Chan Gailey said. "It jumped from a tropical storm to Category 5
in about 20 hours. That's a little scary."
The postponement will give both the Hurricanes and Yellow
Jackets some time to heal.
Miami quarterback Kyle Wright has a sprained right thumb,
affecting his ability to grasp and throw the ball -- but he had
vowed to be ready to play this weekend.
Georgia Tech has more pressing injury concerns, with defensive
tackle Joe Anoai (ankle) and defensive back Djay Jones (leg) not
likely to have played this weekend. Also, quarterback Reggie Ball
and tailback P.J. Daniels were hurt last weekend against Duke.