Column: Weather delays affect college football’s opening weekend

Time is nothing, but timing is everything. As the old phrase goes, a plethora of football fans this weekend would disagree with that sentiment. A swath of games around the nation were delayed and, in some cases, cancelled altogether. Marshall’s game in Oxford, Ohio fell into the delayed category.

Various storm systems throughout the United States had enormous impact on the scheduled games. The Thundering Herd’s game, originally scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff, faced a 2 1/2-hour delay, and did not begin until 6 p.m. After the delay, the red and green-colored crowd saw evening weather with no rain, mild temperatures and portions of cloud cover overhead.

“The delay was crazy,” redshirt freshman quarterback Isaiah Green said. “I was so juiced up, ready to play. I was like, ‘Man, I’m ready to get out there.’ We just came out there ready to play. I know it was tough for them as well, but we outplayed them.”

While the fans begrudgingly waited for kickoff, various activities ensued to pass time as a few rain showers moved through the area, speckled with some lightning and thunder during that time. Around the Miami University campus were multiple fan tailgates of fans, a few large tents set up and a large screen with a game played indoors—unaffected by weather—as Ole Miss routed Texas Tech at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

As for marquee games affected, Alabama and Louisville’s game ended just after midnight. The game was played at Camping World Stadium in downtown Orlando, an area of Florida, known for thunderstorms blowing through almost daily all summer. In the Midwest, Nebraska’s game was delayed a day, then cancelled. Iowa State’s game was also cancelled.

Even as the delays were happening, both Football Bowl Subdivision teams in West Virginia experienced delays before, as Marshall’s 2011 game at West Virginia University faced a weather delay. Both head coaches, Dana Holgorsen at WVU and Doc Holliday at Marshall, experienced similar delays Saturday. Both coaches won their respective games following the delay, as well.

The delay for Marshall and Miami was announced to the public minutes prior to each team taking the field for warmups, though players and coaches might have known before then. Holliday said that the rain delay affected the gameday plan.

“Our kids ate their pregame meal at 11:30 a.m. and we didn’t play until 6 p.m.,” Holliday said. “It really gets to a point where you’re concerned about your kids’ health because they haven’t eaten a whole lot.”

While this could have certainly affected a young quarterback starting his first game, Isaiah Green had a game that ranks with Marshall’s best quarterbacks first start.

“I wasn’t even really nervous at the beginning of the game,” Green said. “My adrenaline was super high through the roof. I was ready. If we had come out and gone down a score, I still would have been ready. That’s just how I play the game. That’s the type of player that I am.”

Joseph Ashley can be contacted at [email protected].