The Gamecocks played the University of Florida in the rain in 2019. (Photo courtesy of Jenny Dilworth/Gamecock Athletics)
South Carolina football will now take on S.C. State at 7 p.m. Thursday due to possible impacts from Hurricane Ian.
The game was originally scheduled for noon Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium. Columbia is expected to see rainfall, possible flooding and high winds Thursday through Saturday.
“We told our players this morning,” Head Coach Shane Beamer said during a Tuesday press conference. “It’s very, very much like the NFL teams that play on Sunday and then turn right back around and play on Thursday.”
Gamecocks Athletics has been in contact with government officials regarding the potential weather issues, according to Athletic Director Ray Tanner.
“I appreciate the cooperation of South Carolina State head coach Buddy Pough, the South Carolina State administration and the Southeastern Conference officials, who worked closely to make the appropriate operational adjustments in order to accommodate this change in the schedule,” Tanner said earlier in a news release.
Tanner said all game day activities will continue as scheduled, despite the changed date.
“We will be able to staff traffic, law enforcement, security and other game day operations,” Tanner said. “The safety of everyone affected by the storm and the minimization of the impact on emergency personnel were the most important factors considered in making the decision.”
Tickets for Saturday will be honored Thursday. Any ticket holders that can’t make the Thursday game should resell their tickets on GamecocksOnline.com.
The reunion honoring the 2010-13 football teams scheduled during Saturday’s game will be postponed, according to a press release.
The matchup will be available to watch on the SEC Network. Beamer said the team is excited to be playing in one of only two college games being televised on Thursday night.
The Gamecocks have rescheduled its football games before. In 2015, a home game against LSU was relocated to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, because of flooding in the Columbia area from a stalled tropical storm. In 2016, another home game, against the University of Georgia, was rescheduled to Sunday because of Hurricane Matthew. Most recently, in 2018, the Marshall University game was canceled due to inclement weather, and South Carolina instead played the University of Akron at the end of the regular season.
Beamer said he and his players are hopeful they can continue to play well despite the short turnaround time from Saturday’s win against the UNC-Charlotte 49ers.
“I think it makes it easier to get back out there and go right back to work,” Beamer said. “Any time you have success you want to get right back and get at it again as quickly as possible.”
The training schedule has not been significantly altered since USC announced the changed game time at 9:45 a.m. Tuesday.
“It’s a quick turnaround,” Beamer said. “You can’t do everything. There’s no perfect plan, but we’re trying to put together the best thing for our team at this moment.”
Beamer is no stranger to Thursday games.
As an assistant coach with the Gamecocks from 2007-2010, he had a Thursday night game in each of those years and won all the home games.
“I had some awesome Thursday nights in Columbia,” Beamer said. “I’m hopeful that this Thursday will be just as electric as well.”
The Gamecocks’ game in 2009 made history. The team hosted Ole Miss, ranked No. 4 in the nation. Carolina was leading 16-10 in the third quarter and had just pinned the Rebels back on a long third down. During a timeout after the play, “Sandstorm” by Darude, started to play. South Carolina continued to play the song after that, and a tradition began. The Gamecocks finished the game on top, winning 16-10.
In 2007, the Gamecocks welcomed the University of Kentucky to the Palmetto state. The No. 8-ranked Wildcats were undefeated through five weeks going into Thursday night. The Gamecock defense shined, scoring two defensive touchdowns and keeping Kentucky to one of its poorest offensive performances all season. South Carolina won 38-23.
In 2008, then-freshman quarterback Russell Wilson and the N.C. State Wolfpack made their way into Columbia for a Thursday night season opener. The Gamecocks would go on to shutout the Wolfpack in a 34-0 route.
In 2010, the Gamecocks opened their season with Southern Mississippi. “The boys from Hattiesburg,” as Beamer called them, struggled against South Carolina. Beamer’s team wound end up winning 41-13.
ABOUT THE JOURNALISTS
Hinkle is an aspiring breaking news journalist with a minor in business administration from Toledo, Ohio. She is a former writer for The Daily Gamecock newspaper and was copy chief of Garnet and Black magazine. Hinkle has interned for multiple news organizations, including the Sylvania Advantage and the Leelanau Enterprise, voted one of the best newspapers in Michigan. Hinkle’s priority as a journalist is to cover underrepresented groups. One of her works explores the lack of support for college students raising a family.
Noah Watson is a senior sports journalism major at the University of South Carolina. He looks for the obscure side of sports, focusing on the fun. He has covered sports for the student-run Daily Gamecock and WACH FOX 57. His dream job is to make sports documentaries.