COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The Georgia versus South Carolina football game has been rescheduled because of the imminent threat of Hurricane Matthew, according to a statement released by the SEC.
The game will be played Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at Williams-Brice Stadium, the home of the Gamecocks. It will be televised on SEC Network.
"Due to the potential impact of the hurricane on Columbia and the surrounding area, it is in the best interest of safety to play the game on Sunday rather than Saturday night," SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. "I appreciate the cooperation of the schools who worked closely to make the appropriate operational adjustments in order to accommodate this change in the schedule."
Before the conference's official announcement, South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp said on Columbia radio station 107.5 The Game that the SEC East match-up will definitely be played Sunday.
The game was originally scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium.
The University is confident it will be able to host the game after being in constant communication with the Governor's office, other state and local officials, state and local law enforcement agencies, the National Weather Service and the SEC about potential weather issues, according to a South Carolina Gamecocks spokesperson.
"We will be able to staff traffic, security and other game day operations. The safety of everyone affected by the storm and the minimization of the impact on emergency personnel were the most important factors considered in making the decision," the spokesperson said in an email.
On Wednesday, USC Executive Associate Athletics Director Charles Bloom said there was a possibility the game could be moved to Sunday or Monday. However, in a statement released the same day, the school was adamant about playing the game at its home stadium.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said Wednesday night that she told the school no state resources would be available as they normally are to help with game traffic. "We will not be able to give any state support for the game," she said. "I cannot pull any troopers away from the state to the game."
Haley mentioned the Richland County Sheriff's Department as a better option. That agency usually provides support along with the highway patrol at home games.
"[USC Athletics Director Ray Tanner] and I have been in contact today and have discussed the various options," Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said.
The South Carolina Gamecocks spokesperson said the school had been in contact with the Richland County Sheriff's Department again Thursday regarding the game's date and time changes.
South Carolina also moved its equestrian meet versus Georgia from Friday to Sunday morning, but kept it in Blythewood, S.C. The school's volleyball game against the Bulldogs did change venues, and it will be played in Athens, Georgia.