That’s according to South Carolina coach Will Muschamp. He didn’t specify details of when, but said the game would be played in the afternoon. Josh Kendall of The State newspaper tweeted that he was hearing that the game would kickoff at 2:30. The game was slated to kickoff at 7:30 on Saturday night before Hurricane Matthew came barreling up the Atlantic Ocean.
Games between the two schools have had kickoffs delayed multiple times - including the 2002 and 2014 games in Columbia. But this is the first time the game has been postponed since the Gamecocks joined the SEC in 1992. UGA has only had one game (2001 Houston) postponed and one game moved (2006 Sugar Bowl) in the last few decades.
The game’s delay is a direct result of Hurricane Matthew, which is currently listed as a Category 4 storm, and headed right towards Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. All three states have issued evacuation orders for coastal areas in their states. The SEC cancelled the LSU-Florida game earlier in the day on Thursday. No date has been set for the Tigers and Gators to meet back up in the future.
But those two schools are not in the same division like the Gamecocks and Bulldogs. Even though South Carolina has three and Georgia has two SEC losses, both teams can still win the SEC East. That fact could complicate matters later in the season should Tennessee lose multiple games in the final two months of the season. The Vols are an underdog at Texas A&M this weekend, and will likely be an underdog to Alabama next weekend.
The move to not play comes after a few days of back-and-forth between USC officials and the governor of the state. Needless to say, inconsistent messaging clouded fans' understanding of if the game would be played at all this weekend. USC officials were adamant that the game would be played in Columbia, saying in a Wednesday-night statement: “The USC vs. UGA game will be played in Columbia.”
But during a Thursday morning press conference, South Carolina governor Nikki Haley said no state resources would be made available for the game. That came after her remarks earlier in the week that she “couldn’t imagine” that the game would be played. State troopers won't be available to direct traffic for the game, which could cause for major traffic issues around the city and stadium.
But then Thursday afternoon, USC President Harris Pastides wrote in an e-mail to students that: "Our goal is to keep the game at Williams-Brice Stadium this weekend."
Georgia was listed as a 7-point favorite over the Gamecocks on Thursday afternoon.