The Michigan State-Penn State NCAA college football game is delayed by weather during the first half, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

Penn State, Michigan State resume game after weather delay

November 04, 2017 - 5:11 pm

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Penn State and Michigan State waited through a weather delay of nearly 3 1/2 hours before resuming their game in the second quarter.

The seventh-ranked Nittany Lions led 14-7 on Saturday when the game was halted with 7:58 to go in the quarter on a chilly, rainy day. There was lightning in the area.

"Our policy here is: Lightning 20 miles out, we put up the announcement to voluntarily leave the stadium, 15 miles out, we take the teams off the field and clear the stadium," said Greg Ianni, Michigan State's deputy athletic director. "It moved in quickly, and then there was a line of storms that followed back from Lansing down to South Bend, and so the last report we got about 3:00 was the storm in South Bend was intensifying, and it looked like we wouldn't get back on the field until 5:15 or 5:30."

Instead, the game was able to resume shortly before 4:40 p.m.

"That storm diverted and went to the south and the east a little bit," Ianni said. "So we didn't get that weather, and that's why we were able to start the game a little earlier."

The 24th-ranked Spartans tied the game at 14, then the teams headed back to the locker rooms at halftime like usual.

"Full 20-minute halftime is a football rule. It can be changed by mutual agreement of the two teams," Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis said. "Both coaches felt that once they got back out there, they wanted to have that opportunity to get in and make those adjustments."

It was raining hard again by the time the second quarter ended, but the game went on. There were significantly fewer fans at the stadium after play resumed, but a decent number came back, and the lower-level seats near midfield on both sidelines were well populated.

Meanwhile, down in Ann Arbor, Michigan was preparing to host a night game against Minnesota. The school delayed opening the gates to Michigan Stadium because of lightning in the area.


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