With Hurricane Florence threatening the Mid-Atlantic coast, East Carolina decided Tuesday it won’t travel to Blacksburg for Saturday’s scheduled game against No. 13 Virginia Tech, which announced the game has been canceled.
ECU (1-1) cited “the high probability of a catastrophic impact on the region and perilous travel conditions before, during and after the storm” as reasons for not coming to Blacksburg. Tech planned to wait until Wednesday before announcing plans for how the game would be handled, or if it would be played.
“We will do what’s best for Virginia Tech moving forward as it relates to ECU and to the game,” Tech athletic director Whit Babcock said in a statement released by the school’s athletic department. “We certainly understand the need for safety, of course, we just felt that tomorrow, making the decision then, would’ve been more responsible and accurate. We informed ECU of this multiple times.”
The last time Tech (2-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) had a football game canceled was the 2000 season opener against Georgia Tech. Thunderstorms just before the start of the game resulted in the cancellation.
Details for fans holding tickets for Saturday’s game will be made available once plans are finalized for whether the game could be rescheduled, according to a release from Tech’s athletic department. As of late Tuesday afternoon, Tech hadn’t made a decision regarding the status of its other home athletic events scheduled for the weekend.
ECU canceled classes Tuesday for the rest of the week. Its dorms will close Wednesday morning. Tech students were still in class Tuesday afternoon, and no plans for the remainder of the week had been announced.
Tech and ECU don’t share the same off week this season, so rescheduling the game could be problematic. Tech’s off week is Oct. 14 through Oct. 20, while ECU’s off week is Oct. 21-27.
Coming into this season, the teams had played 10 of the last 11 seasons, with Tech winning seven of those games, including 64-17 last season in Greenville, N.C. They’re scheduled to play in 2019, 2023 and ’25 in Greenville, and ’20, ’22 and ’24 in Blacksburg.
Wood can be reached by phone at 757-247-4642 or Twitter at @normwood