South Carolina announced Wednesday that Saturday’s game against LSU will be moved from Williams-Brice Stadium to Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. due to the extreme flooding in Columbia, S.C.. LSU coach Les Miles has dealt with a similar situation.
In 2005, Miles’ Tigers were forced to move their home game against Arizona State to Tempe, Ariz. after Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana. The No. 5 Tigers played a resilient game and overcame a 17-7 deficit and a 31-28 deficit late in the game to bring a victory back home to Baton Rouge.
Miles talked about what it was like preparing for that game in 2005 during his weekly teleconference. He gave credit to his team for displaying strong leadership throughout the week.
“I was fortunate to have a little quality leadership on my football team,” Miles said. “I talked to them and really the answers with that scenario came from my guys. I think we did some smart things. But all in all I think it comes from the resilience of the football team and … how they approached it. They put all the distraction behind them and then looked forward.”
The Tigers are now on the other side of the situation.
Miles must ensure that his team doesn’t fall prey to what could be an emotionally-charged South Carolina squad carrying the weight (and possibly strength) of an entire disaster-stricken region on its back.
That is something South Carolina will attempt to do on Saturday in a similar situation. The Gamecocks are 2-3 and have started 0-3 in SEC play. Coach Steve Spurrier could try to use this situation as an opportunity to rally his team for a strong run in the second half of the season.
Miles downplayed the impact of the location change. He said his team will be ready no matter where the game is played.
“As long as they tell us where it’s at, when to play it we’ll set up a quality itinerary and we’ll put our team in play,” Miles said. “That’s not the issue. The issue is being ready when we get there.”
This isn’t the first time LSU has been affected by the weather this season. The Tigers’ first game of the season against McNeese State was cancelled due to lightning. Five weeks later, the weather is playing a role again in LSU’s season.
— Gamecock Athletics (@GamecocksOnline) October 7, 2015