Michigan State’s home game against Penn State was delayed due to weather and it lasted more than three hours.
It was announced in a pretty funny way, too.
Michigan State, trailing 14-7, was on the move into Penn State territory midway through the second quarter when Brian Lewerke found Trishton Jackson near the sideline. Jackson made the catch, but the official ruled Jackson was out of bounds when he hauled it in. It was close, so the play was reviewed.
As it often does during a replay review, the Fox broadcast went to rules analyst Mike Pereira in a Los Angeles studio to give his input. He agreed the pass should be incomplete, but when the broadcast cut back to the referee on the field, a different piece of information was communicated.
Instead of informing us about the outcome of the play, the official instead said the game would enter a weather delay because of lightning in the area.
A few seconds later, after the delay was announced, the ref confirmed it was indeed an incomplete pass. The whole sequence was peculiar.
The game resumed after 4:30 p.m. The delay lasted so long because of the NCAA’s rule about lightning. Every time lightning strikes nearby, 30 minutes will be added to the delay:
To resume athletics activities, lightning safety experts recommend waiting 30 minutes after both the last sound of thunder and last flash of lightning. A useful slogan is “half an hour since thunder roars, now it’s safe to go outdoors.” At night, be aware that lightning can be visible at a much greater distance than during the day as clouds are being lit from the inside by lightning. This greater distance may mean that the lightning is no longer a significant threat. At night, use both the sound of thunder and seeing the lightning channel itself to decide on re-setting the 30-minute “return-to-play” clock before resuming outdoor athletics activities.
It took seven hours, but the game finally came to an end after 7 p.m. in dramatic fashion. Michigan State pulled off the upset with a last-second field goal, creating more College Football Playoff chaos for the Big Ten.
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