USF-UConn to kick off Saturday at 10:30 a.m. (UPDATED)
The University of Connecticut announced Wednesday that kickoff for its home game Saturday against USF -- if it kicks off at all -- has been moved to 10:30 a.m.
The earlier time will help the Bulls arrive back in Tampa early Saturday evening, before the bay area feels any potentially severe effects from Hurricane Irma.
Even with the earlier start, the game's status still remains in question. In its official statement, UConn said the morning kickoff is "pending any other significant weather changes that impact travel plans for USF."
"For the past several days, I have been monitoring the potential impacts of Hurricane Irma and consulting with our university leadership, outside agencies, the University of Connecticut and the leadership of the American Athletic Conference,” USF athletic director Mark Harlan said in a school news release.
“At this time, based on the current forecast, we believe that we can travel safely to and from Connecticut for the game. We have alternate return plans should conditions deteriorate faster than expected, and we greatly appreciate the University of Connecticut working with us during this time.
The game initially was set to start at noon. ESPNews still will televise the game live, but halftime will be shortened to 15 minutes, USF said.
For Bulls fans traveling to Pratt & Whitney Stadium, tailgate lots will open to the general public at 6:30 a.m.
Earlier Wednesday, USF announced it has canceled classes for the rest of the week, and that all home sporting events this weekend are canceled.
That includes the women's soccer home game Thursday against Mississippi State and the USF Classic, a volleyball event slated for Friday and Saturday.
The women's soccer team's Sunday game at Florida also has been called off, and the cross country team announced it won't attend this weekend's UNF Invitational in Jacksonville.
“The safety of our students, staff and coaches is our paramount concern and we will not hesitate to make further changes to ensure their safety," Harlan said.
"USF Athletics is ready to assist our student-athletes, coaches, staff and surrounding community in any way possible in response to the potential impact of Hurricane Irma. Our thoughts are with all of those impacted by the storm."