South Carolina announced Tuesday morning that they will be moving the 12:00 kickoff against SC State on Saturday, to Thursday at 7:00, due to Hurricane Ian.
Obviously, the game needed to be moved without question, and the University made the right decision in doing so. By not moving the game, you’re putting players at risk, and traveling fans at an even higher one. Several moves could have been made, (a cancellation or a postponement) and the University really hit the nail on the head with this decision.
First off, let’s look at a few of the other options the University could have gone with. Canceling the upcoming game could have been an option. Let’s just be happy the University didn’t choose this route.
Thus far, bowl eligibility is not guaranteed. Therefore, Carolina will need to take advantage of all the weaker opponents on their schedule. Erasing an upcoming game against one could have been detrimental for Carolina’s bowl hopes.
Postponing the matchup is another option that the University luckily avoided. In 2018, South Carolina postponed a matchup with Marshall, canceled, and then rescheduled a final home game with Akron. The game was played on a Saturday, a week after the loss to Clemson.
Overall, it turned out to be just a bad experience. The players didn’t really seam into the game, the stands had fewer fans than a Pac-12 spring game, and virtually the entire student body was home for Christmas Break. I really feel that the University learned from this previous decision, and ultimately that’s why they decided against it.
Another big reason is, Carolina needs preparation for Kentucky. Taking away this week’s game could really strip Carolina of an opportunity to do so.
Therefore, the University decided on playing Thursday night under the lights. Honestly, a really great move. Carolina will get a game against a 1-2 FCS opponent (obviously you never want to underestimate your opponents, but Carolina’s not getting upset here) which will certainly help prepare them for Kentucky.
This game will give South Carolina an opportunity to recognize and fix mistakes, without a serious risk of injury. Carolina could also do way better attendance wise than they would with a postponement. I understand an unplanned Thursday night game, potentially will not bring out the greatest crowd.
However, most of your students will probably be there, and fans have made attempts to give their tickets away to other fans interested in attending. It may very well pull in a bigger crowd than most would expect.
I’m a big fan of this decision and am very excited to attend my first Thursday night Carolina game in years. Get out there if you can!
If not, find a way to get your tickets in the hands of someone who will. Let’s do everything we can to pack Willy B for this occasion.