Florida State says it can host game as Hurricane Ian looms. Wake Forest coach is less sure

Carter Karels
Tallahassee Democrat

Florida State remains optimistic it will be able to safely host Saturday's football game against Wake Forest at Doak Campbell Stadium. 

Kickoff is 3:30 p.m. on ABC. 

Demon Deacon head coach Dave Clawson is not exactly echoing that sentiment as Hurricane Ian approaches.

The hurricane's forecast track Tuesday afternoon continued to shift to the south and east. It’s expected to make landfall in southwest Florida as early as Wednesday.

Tallahassee could see sustained winds between 30 and 40 mph and 3 to 4 inches of rain, with impacts arriving as early as late Wednesday and lasting into Friday, according to state officials. 

More on Hurricane Ian's impact:Hurricane Ian could impact Seminoles' upcoming home game vs. Wake Forest

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“You certainly hope the ACC office makes the right decision,” Clawson said in his press conference Tuesday afternoon. “And if they don’t, we will. We are not going to travel down there and put anybody at risk. We are monitoring the weather. 

“Obviously this is in the league’s hands, in Florida State’s hands. We would hope that they would make the right decision. But if we feel that there is any danger to our players going down there, we are not going to go.”

What Clawson precisely meant by the ACC making the “right decision” remains unclear. He declined to elaborate about that remark.

But it’s fair to wonder how Clawson and Wake Forest will handle any upcoming developments related to Hurricane Ian. Especially if he holds true to his comment about not wanting to travel for the game if it risks the safety of his team.

“It’s not just the flight. It’s the hotel,” Clawson said.

“Does it have electricity? Are they going to be able to feed us? You can’t go down there and not have food. So again, if all of those things are checked and you feel safe, and the ACC determines that it is safe, and we feel that it is safe, then there will be a game.”

FSU athletic director says game can be played safely. ACC has not responded

FSU athletic director Michael Alford released a statement Tuesday evening and expressed confidence about the university being able to host the game safely.

The Democrat reached out to the ACC office for an update but has yet to receive a response.

“Following our most recent briefing today with authorities, university administration, transportation officials, security, law enforcement and emergency responders, we remain confident that we will be able to safely host Saturday’s football game against Wake Forest at its scheduled kickoff time,” Alford said in the statement.

“We will continue to monitor the hurricane and all weather advisories and take action if needed to ensure the safety of all involved. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the forecasted impact area in South Florida and others affected by the storm.”

When could FSU vs. Wake Forest be rescheduled?

The ACC theoretically could move the date or location of this game.

Oct. 22 would make sense as a potential date. The Seminoles have an off week on Oct. 22, which is when Wake Forest hosts Boston College. The Demon Deacons and Eagles share an Oct. 15 off week.

So Wake Forest/Boston College could be moved to Oct. 15, while FSU/Wake Forest is moved to Oct. 22.

“We want to play. We absolutely want to play,” Clawson said. “But only if it is safe and appropriate.”

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Florida Gators, UCF have moved their Saturday games to Sunday

The threat of Hurricane Ian prompted Florida, UCF and USF to tinker with their upcoming home football games. 

Florida and UCF moved their games against Eastern Washington and SMU, respectively, from Saturday to Sunday. USF kept its game against East Carolina on Saturday but moved it from Tampa to Boca Raton.

Miami has an off week, while Florida A&M still expects to host Mississippi Valley State at 6 p.m. Saturday.

“When these things happen, everybody is a weather expert,” Clawson said. “There is a major storm hitting Florida. We will see what the conditions are. Part of it is, what are the conditions when we are supposed to fly down there? 

“I don’t know that right now. It is Tuesday. I’m sure every day, we will get more information. We have to be prepared to play a football game. 

“To me, it feels a lot like COVID. With COVID, you had all of those weeks where you didn’t know if you were going to play or not. And if you ended up playing, the team that prepared and thought they were playing usually ended up winning the football game. 

“So if we think we are not playing and don’t prepare to play, and then end up playing, that won’t be good either.”

More on FSU's win over Boston College:Four reasons why Seminoles went from 0-4 to 4-0


Who: FSU (4-0, 2-0 ACC) vs. Wake Forest (3-1, 0-1)

When/where: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.; Doak Campbell Stadium

TV/Radio: ABC/94.9 FM.

Live game updates:; @CarterKarels on Twitter; @Ehsan_Kassim on Twitter; @JimHenryTALLY on Twitter

Reach Carter Karels at or follow him on Twitter @CarterKarels. You can also follow our coverage on Facebook (NoleSports) and Instagram (tlhnolesports).

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