Hurricane Matthew: Miami Hurricanes preparing for practice changes, waiting on UM-FSU decision

Hurricane Matthew alerts as of Oct. 5, 2016. (The Weather Channel)

Hurricane Matthew alerts as of Oct. 5, 2016. (The Weather Channel)

[Latest storm updates from The Post’s Weather blog]

[Everything you need to know: The Post’s storm preparation guide]

4:45 p.m Wednesday: Florida State, in a statement, said it is “in constant contact with the ACC and the University of Miami about this weekend’s game and the possible impact of Hurricane Matthew.”

FSU said all three parties expect to play the game but “are discussing all possibilities in terms of the best way to play the game while putting the safety of the fans at the center of those plans.”

3 p.m. Wednesday: UM Athletics Director Blake James said no decision has been made to postpone or cancel the Miami-Florida State game, which will kick off at 8:14 p.m. Saturday (ABC).

“We are monitoring Hurricane Matthew and are in constant contact with stadium personnel,” James said in a statement released by UM. The school hopes the impact will be “minimal.”

1 p.m. Wednesday: Though UM will close from Wednesday evening through Friday because of Hurricane Matthew, the Miami-Florida State game, as of now, is on.

Both coaches said Wednesday they are preparing to play Saturday’s game as scheduled (8 p.m., ABC). Officials are concerned about the safety of roads following a storm that is expected to hammer South Florida with wind and rain through Thursday.

Miami’s Mark Richt said players were expected to perform their normal responsibilities — such as tutoring, weight-lifting and medical treatment — by 5 p.m., when school closes. It’s unclear what the Hurricanes will do Thursday, since the storm could make travel unsafe.

“Usually when school closes you can’t use the buildings. We’ll have to find out if we can,” Richt said. Two usual inclement-weather options, the wellness center and the volleyball gym, may be needed for school-wide purposes during a storm.

Weather permitting, Richt said UM received permission to use the Dolphins’ indoor practice field in Davie on Thursday “at certain times. It’s not like all day, every day. We can get in there, it’s just a matter of do we want to get in there in the time frame, because [the Dolphins] have work to do as well.”

Miami does not have an indoor practice facility. It plans to build one by 2018.

Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher said his team, which usually travels Thursday for Saturday road games, may travel Friday instead.

Additionally, UM canceled its Friday night on-campus pep rally. The school said it will distribute 1,000 t-shirts to students who arrive earliest on Saturday.

The last time a Miami-Florida State game was postponed by weather was in 2004, when the season opener was delayed four days because of Hurricane Frances.

Wilma, the last major hurricane to hit Florida, delayed Miami’s game against Georgia Tech by a month in 2005. Storms also delayed UM games in 1998 (UCLA) and Temple (1999).

10 a.m. Wednesday: Miami is preparing for the possibility its preparation for Florida State will be affected by Hurricane Matthew.

School officials planned to meet before noon Wednesday to determine whether to cancel classes both that evening and Thursday, when the storm is expected to impact South Florida.

Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos Gimenez said at a news conference Wednesday morning no decision has been made regarding the game between 10th-ranked Miami and 23rd-ranked Florida State. The game is schedule for 8 p.m. Saturday.

Matthew, which weakened slightly overnight, was a Category 3 storm as it headed for the Bahamas. It packed 115 mph winds. It was expected to be “very near the east coast of Florida by Thursday evening,” according to the National Hurricane Center.

Gimenez declared a state of emergency at the 9 a.m. news conference. There are no evacuation plans, but non-emergency county workers will be sent home at 2 p.m. Transit will run until 35 mph sustained winds reach the area. Bridges will start to close at 8 p.m.

Thursday morning, Miami-Dade County was under a tropical storm warning. Broward, Palm Beach and north to Melbourne were under a hurricane warning. North to Daytona Beach was under a hurricane watch.

If school is canceled Thursday, Miami could practice at an off-campus indoor facility — such as the Dolphins’ practice bubble in Davie — but only if travel conditions were safe. Players would have to arrive from their dorms and off-campus apartments and bus to a different location.

“The plan right now is to go defense in the volleyball gym, and offense in the wellness center, and do the best we can in there,” coach Mark Richt said Tuesday. “I’ve never had to deal with a hurricane [as a coach]. … I don’t know what we’ll do. Just keep everybody safe, first.”

Assuming the game goes on as planned, any rain Saturday would affect the game plans of both teams.

“I don’t even know for sure how Brad [Kaaya] throws a wet ball, because we haven’t really practiced in a lot yet,” Richt said. “Some guys, it’s heart attack time when it rains. … I think Brad can throw a wet ball pretty well.”

One piece of advice to tailgaters: bring your mud boots, because some areas of that parking lot could be sloppy.

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