It will be consecutive weeks that the University of Central Florida will not play football games, as the school announced they’ve cancelled its non-conference matchup against Georgia Tech this Saturday. The Golden Knights were to host the Yellow Jackets at Spectrum Stadium for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on ESPNews. UCF had to cancel its home contest last week versus Memphis due to the threat of Hurricane Irma.
“We are in complete agreement with the decision to cancel Saturday’s game,” Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury said. “While we’re disappointed for both teams’ student-athletes, coaches and fans, recovering from the effects of Hurricane Irma should be and is the top priority for UCF and the entire state of Florida at this time.”
UCF has agreed to host 1,000 National Guard troops and 250 vehicles, per a release by the school. Spectrum Stadium will serve as a staging area for recovery operations in response to Hurricane Irma victims.
“We’re honored to host the National Guard and play a part in helping our community and state recover from Irma,” Vice President and Director of Athletics Danny White said in the release. “On behalf of our student-athletes, athletics staff and fans, I promise the Knights will do everything we can to assist in recovery efforts.”
Outside of UCF’s lone opening season victory against Florida International, the Golden Knights are three weeks into the college football campaign and have only played one contest to date. The Golden Knights next scheduled game is slated for next weekend on Sep. 23 on the road against Maryland.
The decision to cancel for the second straight week comes on the heels of Irma, which ripped straight up the middle of Florida and effected Orlando in terms of flooding and major power outages. UCF will be the only major university in Florida not hosting a game in Week 3 due to Irma, as the University of South Florida will host Illinois on Friday in Tampa and No. 24 ranked University of Florida will host No. 23 ranked Tennessee on Saturday in Gainesville. Florida Atlantic University will also be hosting Bethune-Cookman down in Boca Raton this Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Florida State University and Miami both have off weeks.
UCF’s latest cancellation now leaves the Golden Knights with just nine games for the remainder of the season, with the hopes they can makeup their American Athletic Conference matchup against Memphis at some point down the road. For now, the Golden Knights are a team that will have a steep hill to climb if they look to reach a bowl game in December or January, with losing two games potentially being something that hurts them in the future.