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Hurricane causes shuffling of college, professional sports schedules

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Florida was scheduled to host Eastern Washington on Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, but that game was moved to Sunday on the Gainesville, Fla., campus due to Hurricane Ian. Photo by Gatorfan252525/Wikimedia Commons
Florida was scheduled to host Eastern Washington on Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, but that game was moved to Sunday on the Gainesville, Fla., campus due to Hurricane Ian. Photo by Gatorfan252525/Wikimedia Commons

Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Several college football games were relocated and/or scheduled, while others remain in limbo due to Hurricane Ian's impact throughout Florida. The storm also has made an impact on this week's NFL and NHL schedules.

Florida was scheduled to host Eastern Washington at noon EDT Saturday in Gainesville, Fla. That game was moved to noon Sunday, but will remain on the Gators' campus.

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South Florida was scheduled to face East Carolina on Saturday in Tampa. That game will now be played at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Florida Atlantic University Stadium in Boca Raton, Fla.

"With Hurricane Ian building into a powerful and potentially very impactful storm on the Bay area, the people and resources in our community, we felt it was in everyone's best interest to move our game out of the Tampa Bay area," South Florida vice president of athletics Michael Kelly said Tuesday.

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South Carolina announced Tuesday that its game against South Carolina State, scheduled for Saturday, was moved to 7 p.m. Thursday in Columbia, S.C.

"Due to the potential impact of the hurricane on Columbia and the surrounding area, it is in the best interest of safety to play the game on Thursday rather than Saturday afternoon," South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner said.

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Central Florida is still on track to host SMU on Saturday in Orlando, Fla. Florida State also is still scheduled to host Wake Forest on Saturday in Tallahassee, Fla.

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Clemson also is still on track to host N.C. State on Saturday in Clemson, S.C., which is located about 1:30 miles west of Columbia.

Many other games will likely be impacted by the windy and rainy weather even if they do go on throughout the southeast portion of the United States.

Outside of college football, the NFL and NHL schedule also was impacted earlier this week due to the weather in Florida.

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The Tampa Bay Lightning postponed two preseason games, scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes and Nashville Predators, respectively. They did not announce make-up dates for those games.

In the NFL, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Monday that they relocated football operations from Tampa, Fla., to Miami due to the path of the hurricane. The Buccaneers are scheduled to host the Kansas City Chiefs at 8:20 p.m. Sunday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

Florida's other two NFL teams -- the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars -- play on the road in Week 4. The Dolphins will face the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday in Cincinnati. The Jaguars will battle the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in Philadelphia.

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Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa throws before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati on September 29, 2022. Tagovailoa played four days after he suffered what the team initially said was a "head injury." Photo by John Sommers II/UPI | License Photo

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