Hurricane Irma causes cancellation of Florida-Northern Colorado game

Hurricane Irma

With the threat of Hurricane Irma growing seemingly by the hour, Florida announced Thursday afternoon that its game with Northern Colorado on Saturday has been canceled.

The announcement came shortly after revised Irma forecasts showed the storm — currently a Category 5 hurricane, with some of the highest winds ever recorded — going right up the middle of the state beginning early Sunday morning.

With evacuations taking place all over the state, especially from south Florida, “it’s become obvious that playing a football game is not the right thing to do,” Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said in a statement released by the school.

“The focus of our state and region needs to be on evacuations and relief efforts,” Stricklin said. “There is a tremendous amount of stress currently on the roads of this state, and the availability of gas, water and other supplies are at critical levels. Playing a college football game Saturday would only add to that stress.

“Gainesville is also close to some of Florida’s heaviest traffic points this week, specifically Interstate-75, which is a key statewide evacuation route.”

The game will not be rescheduled, meaning Florida’s next game will be a September 16 home showdown with Tennessee.

This is the third time in four seasons Florida has lost a game to bad weather. The home opener in 2014 against Idaho was canceled by lightning and last season’s game with Presbyterian was canceled so Florida and LSU could play a game that had been postponed by Hurricane Matthew.

(You can follow Mike Huguenin on Twitter @MikeHuguenin)

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