The end to Sunday’s Friends of Coal Bowl was strange to say the least. The game kicked off at 3:37 p.m. and finally after two weather delays torrential rains and severe lightning officials from both schools decided to call it a game with most of the fourth quarter left to play.
“The weather forecast was not going to clear up for another two hours at least,” said Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick.
Hamrick and WVU AD Oliver Luck consulted with officials with the Big East and Conference USA along with team doctors and trainers before finally making the difficult decision to pull the plug on the game. Hamrick said it was become a safety issue for the student athletes.
“Oliver Luck and I consulted with our team doctors and trainers and decided in the best interest of our student athletes this game not continue,” stated Hamrick.
The effect the first delay had on the Marshall players was obvious when the game resumed in the third quarter. Marshall looked sluggish and rusty while the Mountaineers seemed to handle the delay better moving the ball offensively like there had never been an over three hour delay.
Head Coach Doc Holliday was obviously dejected during his post-game news conference and knowing his team didn’t get a chance to finish the game made it a little tougher to swallow.
“I had no choice. We contacted the doctors and conferences and all that,” said Holliday. “They want to play, but I just told them it was out of our hands.”
Marshall won’t have much time to dwell on the loss and the strange circumstances surrounding the game. The Herd must now prepare for their C-USA opener against probably the best team in the conference, Southern Miss.
“We got a conference game six days from now,” said Holliday. “We can’t worry about this one. We’ve got to focus on Southern Miss.”