The fate of South Carolina football’s matchup with Marshall this Saturday is still up in the air as the Carolinas brace for the impact of Hurricane Florence, one of the biggest storms to hit the region in years.
However, North Carolina State has already decided to cancel its game with West Virginia this weekend, and that got former Gamecock coach Lou Holtz to thinking about another time NC State and USC faced off in severe weather.
Posting to Twitter, Holtz wrote that his first game with South Carolina came in September 1999 against the Wolfpack, and it “Rained so hard that the animals gathered in pairs looking for Noah’s Ark. We lost.”
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The game Holtz is remembering took place on Sept. 4, in the midst of Hurricane Dennis, which at that point had weakened to a tropical storm but still dumped as much as 10 inches of rain across eastern North Carolina.
In the game, South Carolina and NC State combined to throw the ball 25 times, completing just eight passes. The two teams rushed the ball 91 total times. The Wolfpack had just 96 total yards but won 10-0, in large part due to six fumbles in the first half.
Hurricane Dennis, however, never became more than a Category 2 storm, while Florence is currently a Category 3. The most recent projections from the NOAA give Columbia a 60 percent chance being hit with sustained winds from 39 to 73 miles per hour, starting Friday and extending through Sunday. Three to six inches of rain are expected.
Currently, USC and Marshall’s athletic directors are reportedly discussing the status of Saturday’s game, and coach Will Muschamp has stated he and his team are preparing as though they will play. But it seems clear that after his experience, Holtz would recommend postponing.