LSU is ready to host South Carolina if game is moved

LSU was preparing on Tuesday night to host a football game against South Carolina on Saturday, should the decision be made on Wednesday to move the game from its originally scheduled site in Columbia, South Carolina, because of historic flooding in the Columbia area and throughout the state.

The game is scheduled to kick off at 11 a.m. Saturday in Williams-Brice Stadium on ESPN.

“The ball is in South Carolina’s court,” LSU athletic director Joe Alleva told the Baton Rouge Advocate Tuesday. “They make the decision. If they feel they can host the game, it will be played there. If they feel they can’t host it because of the tragedy they’ve had, then Baton Rouge is a possibility.”

South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner said he expected to have a decision made on Wednesday. LSU’s next scheduled home game is on Saturday, Oct. 17 against Florida at 6 p.m. on ESPN.

“We could absolutely host the game,” LSU sports information director Michael Bonnette said on WWL Radio in New Orleans Tuesday night. “But this is their home game and their decision to make.”

Tanner said he has considered and is considering alternate sites near Columbia, but none have been worked out yet.

“The problem with the neutral site is you’re moving two teams instead of one,” Bonnette said. “If we’re asked to hose the game in the next 24 hours, it’s something we can certainly do. Our stadium is ready.”

In 2005, the decision to move LSU’s scheduled home game against Arizona State on Saturday, Sept. 10, to Tempe, Arizona, was made on the previous Monday because of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as LSU’s campus was being used as the storm’s primary relief center.

Should the game be moved to LSU, the Tigers’ next scheduled home game against South Carolina in 2020 would then be moved to Columbia.

GAMECOCKS’ STAFF IMPACTED: South Carolina co-offensive coordinator Shawn Elliott had to evacuate his home in downtown Columbia because of flooding, and quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus had water get into his home, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said.

“We’re fortunate where I live, there were no problems getting in and out,” Spurrier said Tuesday morning at a press conference. “But other areas certainly have had a lot of tragedy that has happened. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. I appreciate all the work the Red Cross and all the other agencies are doing. From all I know, the game is still on. They’re coming here Saturday at noon. We’re looking forward to playing them here at home at noon.”

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