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USF-UConn kickoff switched to noon

The change from an evening start was made as a precaution against a mosquito-borne virus
OCTAVIO JONES | Times USF quarterback Blake Barnett (11), seen here against Connecticut last season, faces the Huskies at noon Saturday in East Hartford. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times] [JONES | Tampa Bay Times]

The University of Connecticut has announced that kickoff for the Huskies' home game Saturday against USF has been moved to noon as a precautionary measure against a mosquito-borne virus.

Broadcast arrangements are still being worked out for the game, initially set to kick off at 7 p.m. at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn.

The move was made after UConn received guidance from the Connecticut Department of Public Health regarding the eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus.

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Mosquitoes are most active starting at dusk each evening, and until dawn.

“We understand and appreciate Connecticut officials taking steps in order to provide the safest environment possible for the student-athletes, coaches and fans at Saturday’s game,” USF athletic director Michael Kelly said in a school news release.

“We have been in communication with UConn and conference officials over the past several days and are confident they are taking the appropriate steps in moving the kickoff up and playing the game during daylight hours.”

The move should have no bearing on the travel plans of the Bulls, who typically arrive at an opposing destination the afternoon before the contest.

A cold front is expected to reach Hartford in the middle of the week, with temperatures projected to top out in the high 50s on Saturday, according to The Weather Channel.