The Charleston Southern-Citadel football game, originally set for Saturday at Johnson Hagood Stadium, has been turned into a post-Thanksgiving affair.
You can thank Hurricane Florence.
The schools agreed on Tuesday to reschedule the game for 7 p.m. on Nov. 29 at Johnson Hagood Stadium. That's the Thursday after Thanksgiving; the game is contingent on neither team making the FCS playoffs, which start on Nov. 24.
The rescheduling came after Gov. Henry McMaster ordered a mandatory evacuation of the S.C. coast due to the threat of Hurricane Florence. Citadel cadets were released from campus at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, and Johnson Hagood Stadium is used by the S.C. National Guard and other emergency response agencies during hurricanes.
"First off, this is a very unfortunate situation," said Citadel athletic director Mike Capaccio. "After the governor issued the mandatory evacuation of the coast, The Citadel reviewed options to relocate the game for this weekend.
"However, it was appropriate to keep the main focus on ensuring the safety of all parties that would be involved with trying to play the game this weekend."
Cappacio thanked CSU officials for working with The Citadel.
"We both feel it is very important to play the game," Capaccio said.
Charleston Southern AD Jeff Barber agreed.
"The CSU vs. Citadel game is a very important game for both teams and I'm grateful that a suitable date could be found," he said. "Playing this game on a Thursday night will be special, and we appreciate the spirit of camaraderie that allowed this to occur."
This marks the third year in a row that The Citadel has been forced to alter its football schedule due to hurricanes.
Last year, a Sept. 9 home game against Presbyterian was moved to the Blue Hose’s home in Clinton, with The Citadel winning by 48-7. In 2016, a home game with North Greenville was moved to the Crusaders’ stadium in Tigertown, with the Bulldogs winning by 38-14.
In 2004, the season opener against Charleston Southern was postponed due to Hurricane Frances, and was eventually canceled.
And in 1989, after Hurricane Hugo, The Citadel played two “home games” at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia.
The Citadel’s football team is 0-2 following losses to Wofford and Chattanooga. Charleston Southern was off last week after opening with a 53-6 loss at Florida. CSU has won four straight in the series, which is tied at 5-5 overall. The teams last met in 2015.