As of Thursday morning, the Notre Dame – NC State game still looks like it will be played as scheduled at noon on Saturday with Raleigh looking like it will not be severely impacted by Hurricane Matthew based on current models. The forecast is still calling for rain Friday through Saturday, but nothing that would impact the start time of the game.
Before getting too far into how the weather will impact this weekend’s game, let’s not forget that the impact this devastating hurricane has on this game – or any game – is minuscule compared to the impact it will have on lives of many people who are stuck in the path of this storm. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those folks.
As for the impact on this weekend’s game, the NC State Athletic department issued a statement Wednesday afternoon that they fully expect to play the game as scheduled.
Weather update regarding @PackFootball vs. Notre Dame, preparing to play as scheduled: pic.twitter.com/j4lxe5aQIE
— NC State Athletics (@PackAthletics) October 5, 2016
Based on the current models of this storm, North Carolina will be impacted with a lot of rain and wind gusts this weekend, but at least inland in Raleigh, the weather doesn’t look like it will be enough to force any movement in the start time of the game.
Forecasts are calling for 2-3 inches of rain in Raleigh between Friday and Saturday with winds around 15 mph with stronger gusts throughout the day. That type of forecast will make for miserable tailgating and a lot of wet clothes for those in the stands but aren’t really any thing out of the ordinary.
Brian Kelly said earlier this week that the rain won’t impact their ability to throw the football much, but strong winds could. “For us it’s always about wind more so than it is about precip,” Kelly said on Tuesday. “We are very good at moving the ball and throwing the football in most conditions, unless the wind becomes a point where the ball just can’t be moved through the air. Then we get into formations that we already have in our system and we’ll employ those,” said Kelly.
We also know that Notre Dame was preparing two separate game plans according to Mike Denbrock – one for severe conditions and one for normal conditions. Now that the weather forecast is becoming clearer, it will be interesting to hear what Brian Kelly says today about game plans.
Notre Dame quarterback Deshone Kizer doesn’t sound too concerned with rain effecting him this weekend. “Weather doesn’t affect me too much when it comes to throwing the ball,” Kizer said on Wednesday. “Last year I was obviously apparent that I’m pretty capable of throwing the ball in the rain, just a couple of adjustments in my grip and I can rip it just the same.”
Kizer seems to have a good handle on how to deal with any wind that might pick up during the game as well. “You have to gauge that when it comes to being accurate, and sideways-blowing wind can definitely affect the ball. But typically inside of a stadium that sits as high as the stadiums that we typically play in, down by the field the wind really doesn’t affect too much unless it gets to swirl.”
With just over 48 hours to kick-off this game appears like it will be played as scheduled, but any change in the path of the storm could change things so officials from the ACC and both schools will continue to monitor the situation. ACC officials are set to have another conference call today to discuss the weather’s impact on this game and others this weekend.
I am not a fair weather fan and have stood by notre dame since 1964. However, I am close to my wits end. We have seen all kinds of great offenses running different systems, option, spread, I formation, pro style. The key is to fit your personnel to a system that allows maximum production. With that being said I wonder if Notre Dame would be better off going to a prostyle I formation offense.