GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Florida will have to wait at least another week to try to end a seven-game losing streak.
The season opener for Florida and Idaho started after a nearly three-hour lightning delay. Florida's Valdez Showers electrified the rain-soaked crowd with a 64-yard kickoff return, giving the Gators great field position. But lightning was detected 10 seconds later.
The latest lightning strike within 8 miles of the stadium sent players back to the locker room seconds after the opening kickoff. The game was called about 50 minutes later.
"It's unfortunate that the weather didn't cooperate for tonight's season opener," Gators coach Will Muschamp said in a statement. "After long discussions with the head referee, it was determined that the field conditions were too dangerous for the student-athletes."
The teams could resume the game at a later date. They could end the game with a determined final score. They could forfeit of the game. Or they could declare a "no contest."
Athletic directors from both schools, in consultation with the coaches, must agree on one of the four options. The agreement will include the final score if the game is terminated.
Both teams have an open date on Saturday, Oct. 25. But it's unclear whether either team would be willing to play it then.
The game was initially scheduled to start at 7:02 p.m., but it was delayed repeatedly because of nearby lightning. It eventually started after a delay of 2 hours, 48 minutes.
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