Kickoff between Boston College and Wake Forest has been moved up two hours, to 5:30 p.m., on Thursday night at BB&T Field.
The forecast arrival of Hurricane Florence necessitated the shift, and it’s not a final decision. The schools will continue to monitor the predicted impact and speed of the hurricane until Wednesday afternoon, when Boston College is scheduled to depart Boston.
The decision to move the kickoff ahead two hours is based on, among other things, allowing Boston College to leave ahead of the storm’s impact on the area.
“We feel like that gives us the best opportunity to have a good-weather game, a decent-weather game anyway,” Wake Forest athletics director Ron Wellman said Tuesday. “And it gives Boston College the opportunity to exit the game and get on their plane and return to Boston safely as well.”
Wake Forest and Boston College have worked with the ACC to determine the best course of action. As news of the rescheduled time was made public, other games across the state — West Virginia-N.C. State and UCF-North Carolina — were postponed.
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The forecast, Wellman said, for Thursday between 5-10 p.m. calls for between one-tenth and one-hundredth of an inch of rain. He said the sustained wind is expected to be 13 mph, with gusts up to 23 mph.
There will be a conference call Wednesday to further evaluate the safety of BC’s travel arrangements.
“We want to play the game. It’s just a decision of — is it safe? Is it prudent? We’ve been studying the weather all week and weather is unpredictable and can change,” said Coach Dave Clawson of Wake Forest. “And so, if you asked me (Monday) night if I thought we were going to play the game, the answer was probably doubtful.
“And then there was a change in the weather report that it looks like we can do it in a safe way for our players, for BC’s players and for our fans and that’s something we’re going to keep evaluating.”
ESPN will still carry the game between Wake Forest and Boston College, both of which are 2-0. It’s the ACC opener for each team, and both are programs on the rise within the ACC’s Atlantic Division.
Wake Forest, as of Tuesday afternoon’s news conference, only had “a few hundred tickets” left to sell for the game, according to Wellman.
The earlier kickoff time and the fact that a hurricane will be bearing down on the Carolinas could impact the crowd size.
“We think that the crowd will be very good,” Wellman said. “It means getting to the stadium a little bit earlier than anticipated, a couple of hours earlier … But this is a big game. And I think our fans will be excited about the game and do their very best to come to the game.”