BATON ROUGE - Game on in Gainesville, no matter what.
LSU's football game at Florida, on Saturday will not be moved from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, according to a release by the University of Florida on Wednesday afternoon despite Weather Channel reports that Hurricane Matthew is projected to do record damage in east and central Florida on Friday.
"The game will not be moved out of Gainesville," the Florida statement said. "As of 5 p.m. Wednesday (4 p.m. central), the game is still scheduled to be played on Saturday at noon (11 a.m. central) at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. A final decision on the start of the game will be made by 1 p.m. (noon central) on Thursday as we continue to monitor the storm."
The Florida campus is expected to be closed Friday, but the game will go on at some time Saturday, or possibly Sunday.
"We are working closely with local, state and University officials as well as the Southeastern Conference office to monitor the progress of Hurricane Matthew and its potential impact on campus and the safety of the fans," Florida's release said.
Florida will not allow any overnight parking Friday. All lots are expected to open at 8 a.m. Saturday.
Steve Caparotta, a meteorologist for WAFB Channel 9 in Baton Rouge, was shocked at the decision.
"This is the epitome of irresponsibility," he said on 104.5 FM Radio in Baton Rouge on Matt Moscona's show after looking at the latest update on the path of the storm at 4 p.m. Wednesday. "The Florida campus is closing Friday, but c'mon back we'll play some football Saturday?"
"Doesn't look like Leonard is going to play," LSU interim coach Ed Orgeron said on the SEC teleconference Wednesday morning. "We don't know yet. He hasn't practiced yet, so."
Starting left guard William Clapp, who injured his arm against Missouri, is also not expected to play Saturday nor is he expected to play on October 15 against Southern Mississippi in Tiger Stadium. Tight end Foster Moreau (unspecified injury) is also doubtful for Florida as is starting right tackle Toby Weathersby (foot).
"I do believe that Will's going to be out for the next couple of weeks," Orgeron said. "I think Foster Moreau will be out this week, but I'm not sure."