Sep 3, 2011, 5:56 PM EDT
More than a few snarky fans have called it Divine Intervention. But with the Irish trailing at halftime 16-0, the football game has been delayed due to severe thunder and lightning storms rolling through the South Bend area.
In a bizarre scene, the entire stadium has been cleared, with fans being evacuated and put into nearby academic buildings, while the weather rolls through town. On a humid day that was one of the hottest season openers in recent memory, the weather shifted just after kickoff, coinciding with the Irish offense derailing itself inside the Bulls’ five yard line.
After a surgical drive down the field that included by big plays by Cierre Wood and Michael Floyd, Jonas Gray was stripped by Jerrell Young as he charged for the goal line. The fumble was recovered by Kayvon Webster and returned 96 yards for a shocking touchdown to start the scoring.
From then on, it’s been a series of Irish mistakes, including a touchdown taken off the board because of a Floyd hold, followed by a poor decision by Dayne Crist that resulted in a interception deep in the end zone by DeDe Lattimore. The Irish added their third turnover in the half when Theo Riddick muffed a punt return, giving the ball to the Bulls at the Irish twenty yard-line.
Running off the field at half, Skip Holtz felt like the Bulls, while taking a 16-point lead to the locker room, didn’t get as much as they could out of their chances.
“We’re playing a physical brand of football, that’s part of what we do,” Holtz told NBC’s Alex Flanagan. “I just hate that we’ve had so many opportunities and not been able to capitalize on them.”
The weather delay at Notre Dame Stadium is 45 minutes and counting. Western Michigan and Michigan are also delayed, with the Wolverines leading 20-10 in the third quarter.
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