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Lightning Cancels College Football Game, Shortens Another in Opening Weekend

lightning 2The opening weekend of college football featured the first games in eight months highlighted by several big matchups, along with one unexpectedly significant player: Mother Nature.
via ESPN. “We just felt like it was not in the best interest in our players to play this game.”

Thunderstorms cancelled one game, postponed another and delayed several other contests as lightning made multiple unwanted appearances during college football’s season debut. Perhaps nobody had it worse than Louisiana State University (LSU) and McNeese State University, who saw their Saturday game cancelled after a nearly four-hour delay due to lightning. Baton Rouge, Louisiana, home to LSU, recorded 0.60″ of rain on Saturday night – not an incredible amount – but slow-moving nearby thunderstorms produced frequent lightning close enough to Tiger Stadium, forcing the cancellation. The game will not be made up, shrinking LSU’s season schedule from 12 to 11 regular season games.

“It boils down to player safety,” LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said on Saturday,


In Athens, Georgia, the University of Georgia Bulldogs’ opener against the University of Louisiana-Monroe was cut short due to lightning, with the ninth-ranked Bulldogs up 51-14 with just under 10 minutes left to play. The University of Illinois needed an extra day to take down Kent State University. Originally slated to face off on Friday night, lightning postponed the game until Saturday afternoon. Illinois romped despite the delay however, racking up a 52-3 opening victory.

Also delayed by lightning on Saturday: the University of Tennessee’s home matchup against Bowling Green and the University of Cincinnati’s game against Alabama A&M.

With the beginning of the season coinciding with the end of summer, daytime heat and humidity help fuel numerous afternoon showers and thunderstorms, particularly across the South. But as the season wears on and fall settles in, lightning delays and widespread summertime thunderstorms typically lessen, much to the relief of college football fans, players and athletic directors coast-to-coast.

For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi

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