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SEC assessing Florida's ability to host UT

Orlando Sentinel (TNS) • Sep 11, 2017 at 7:46 PM

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Hurricane Irma’s impact has left in doubt Florida’s ability to host SEC East rival Tennessee on Saturday in The Swamp.

The Southeastern Conference, university and city authorities are assessing the state of the stadium and campus to determine whether the appropriate personnel would be available for the game.

The No. 23 Vols (2-0) are scheduled to face the No. 24 Gators (0-1) at 3:30 p.m. on CBS.

In a statement released Monday, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said: “Now that the storm has passed through Gainesville, the University of Florida is working with local authorities to assess the effect of the storm on the campus and the Gainesville community, at the same time ensuring the appropriate security and local officials are available to host a game.”

More than 3,300 working personnel, 17 government agencies and outside vendors are needed to conduct a game for a crowd of around 90,000 people at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

Florida canceled its home game with Northern Colorado this past Saturday because of the storm.

Irma arrived Sunday night and pounded the area for the next eight hours with heavy rains and tropical storm winds. The city was left strewn with debris and faced with flooding in many areas. Tens of thousands of people suffered power outages.

Cleanup was ongoing Monday.

Speaking to reporters Monday in Knoxville, Tennessee coach Butch Jones said:  We fully anticipate playing the game in Gainesville.”

Last season, the Vols ended an 11-game losing streak against the Gators with a 38-28 come-from-behind win.

“Last year was a good reminder of what it feels like to beat Florida. We want to make that a little more of a routine here,” Vols tight end Ethan Wolfe told reporters Monday.


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