Hurricane or no, Elliott said Virginia will be ready if weather turns bad

By Jerry Ratcliffe


It didn’t rain a drop in Charlottesville on Tuesday, but Virginia was practicing with a wet football in anticipation of bad weather for its game at Duke on Saturday night (7:30 p.m., Regional Sports Network).

Duke coach Mike Elko said during his press conference on Monday that the Blue Devils would practice with a wet football, and UVA coach Tony Elliott echoed that intention Tuesday.

Weather forecasts for Durham for the weekend include a chance of heavy rain – possibly 3-to-7 inches – and possible flash flooding from Hurricane Ian. The rain is supposed to start Friday and continue through Monday.

“We started practicing with a wet ball today,” Elliott said. “Making sure that the guys get used to catching the ball. The receiver’s got to be comfortable with taking the shields off to make sure they can see, being prepared when their gloves get wet to take those off and catch the ball.”

The Cavaliers’ coach said he and his staff will have a plan for all weather conditions this weekend, including no rain.

“It will be adjusted once we actually see what the conditions are when we get there,” Elliott said, “but we’re prepared.”

He remembered the NC State-Notre Dame game a couple of years ago, playing under “monsoon” conditions. Elliott said that when he played for Clemson back in ‘02, the Tigers played Georgia Tech in a hurricane-related downpour.

“You had to take all the gloves off and be prepared to catch the ball with your body,” Elliott said.

Clemson played Notre Dame last season in a torrential downpour.

“We had our plan, and on gameday made adjustments on thought process in the passing game,” Elliott said. “Our RPOs off of the run game will have to be there, depending on how wet it is and the conditions of the ball.”