BATON ROUGE, La. – The third-ranked LSU Tigers will play their opener against North Texas in Tiger Stadium on Saturday night, marking a victory of sorts for the Baton Rouge area after it was struck by tropical weather from Isaac.

University officials said Thursday afternoon’s final determination was made after checking the stadium and consulting with local authorities to ensure the community could handle the anticipated crowd of more than 90,000.

The schools were motivated to do what they could to get the game in this weekend because they do not have any corresponding open dates the rest of the season.

“Our options are limited as far as opportunities to play this game and there was minimal damage to the stadium, so we are proceeding with the season opener on Saturday night,” LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva said. “We understand there are portions of the state that are still recovering from the storm and there may be some fans that cannot, for various reasons, make it to Tiger Stadium. We wish those people and everyone adversely affected by the storm our best wishes for a full recovery.”

The was some water damage to the Tiger Stadium press box as well as the Stadium Club area, but LSU officials described it as “minimal” and said those areas would be be ready for the game.

LSU’s decision came hours after Tulane decided to keep its opener on schedule as well. The Green Wave opens against Rutgers in the Superdome in New Orleans.

However, Isaac did interfere with other college games involving Louisiana teams.

Texas A&M and Louisiana Tech postponed their Thursday night meeting in Shreveport until Oct. 13, when both schools had an open date.

Nicholls State, located in Thibodaux, about 60 miles southwest of New Orleans, canceled its weekend trip to Oregon State.

For North Texas and LSU, the uncertainty caused by Isaac was nothing new. The Tigers and Mean Green had to postpone a season opener in 2005 because of Hurricane Katrina.

BIG EAST EXPANSION: New Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco says the conference wants to add a 14th member for football, and is planning to have a championship game after next season.

Aresco spoke with reporters before Connecticut’s football game with Massachusetts at East Hartford, Conn.

Aresco declined to say which teams the Big East is pursuing. He also said he’s confident the teams currently committed to the Big East, including Connecticut, will stay.

The Big East, which lost West Virginia to the Big 12, and will lose Syracuse and Pitt to the ACC next season, will span four time zones starting next season with the addition of programs such as Boise State.

SOUTH CAROLINA 17, VANDERBILT 13: Marcus Lattimore ran for two touchdowns and 110 yards, and Connor Shaw ran for 92 yards while playing the second half with an injured shoulder as No. 9 South Carolina rallied past Vanderbilt to open the season Thursday night at Nashville, Tenn.

Shaw hurt his right, throwing shoulder late in the first half and missed the first two series of the third quarter before returning.

Lattimore scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 1-yard run with 11:25 to go.

CONNECTICUT 37, MASSACHUSETTS 0: Chandler Whitmer threw for 219 yards and Connecticut scored touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams to beat Massachusetts at East Hartford, Conn., spoiling the Minutemen’s debut as a bowl subdivision program.

Connecticut’s defense dominated the game, holding UMass to just 59 yards of offense and limiting the Minutemen to three first downs. UMass did not have an offensive snap in UConn territory.

This was the 72nd meeting between the two programs but the first since 1999, when both teams were Division I-AA.

NEW HAMPSHIRE 38, HOLY CROSS 17: Sean Goldrich threw for 193 yards and two touchdowns, and Andy Vailas also threw a touchdown pass to help New Hampshire win at Worcester, Mass.

Joey Orlando and R.J. Harris each had 102 receiving yards. Orlando caught two touchdowns and Harris had one.