Florida Atlantic University will kick off the American Athletic Conference era on Saturday, but not in a way that most thought it would be seen.
With hurricane Ian rapidly approaching the Florida Gulf Coast, future co-member South Florida saw it's upcoming AAC contest with East Carolina in jeopardy.
Enter Schnellenberger Field at FAU Stadium.
Yes, the Owls first bid in their new league home will now be the second league game to don the currently grass surface, as University officials have rolled out the red carpet to aid their soon to be league mates.
And the steely-eyed statue of founder Howard Schnellenberger will keep careful watch over those visiting for the first time in what will become a new rivalry for the Owls with both teams.
"While our thoughts are with everyone who will be impacted by Hurricane Ian over the coming days, we are happy to host USF and East Carolina this weekend at FAU Stadium. With our football team playing at North Texas on Saturday, our stadium was available", said Athletic Director Brian White. "When contacted about the possibility of hosting this game, FAU Athletics and everyone involved with our football operations started putting the wheels in motion to accommodate this request."
South Florida officials were more than appreciative of the nod.
"We are very grateful to our friends and colleagues at FAU for their tremendous assistance and cooperation in using their facility to play Saturday's game and to ECU and the Conference for working with us during this time", said South Florida AD Michael Kelly.
The Bulls will be traveling to Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday afternoon following practice on the USF campus and will continue game preparations in the Fort Lauderdale area leading up to Saturday's game.
Information on tickets and attendance for the game in Boca Raton as well as refunds for tickets purchased for the previously scheduled contest in Tampa will be forthcoming.
The game will be available on the ESPN+ streaming service.