AMES — Iowa State football got off to an electric start Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium when wide receiver Deshaunte Jones caught a 55-yard touchdown pass against South Dakota State.
The Cyclones led the Jackrabbits 7-0 with 10:55 left in the first quarter.
Unfortunately, Mother Nature’s electricity — lightning — canceled Jones’ touchdown and the game. None of the stats that were recorded on Saturday will count toward the season stats.
Officially, the game will go down as a no contest due to weather and there are no immediate plans to reschedule.
The game was sent into a rain delay at the 10:55 mark in the first quarter at 7:17 p.m. Officials waited until 9:42 p.m. to officially cancel the game.
“First and foremost, it’s very disappointing that Mother Nature controlled the outcome of how today’s game is going to end,” Iowa State Athletics Director Jamie Pollard said. “But at the end of the day, player safety is of utmost importance. After talking with coach (Matt) Campbell and their head football coach (John Stiegelmeier), both coaches agreed that, given what we saw on the radar, staying and prolonging the inevitable wasn’t in the best interest of either team.”
As far as rescheduling goes, Iowa State and South Dakota State have different bye weeks, and the only available time the teams possibly have is championship week. But in all likelihood, the Jackrabbits, the No. 3-ranked team in the FCS, will be playing in the FCS playoffs that weekend.
“For us, our bye week is Oct. 20, my guess is — Nebraska and Akron canceled their game tonight — so I’m going to guess there is a whole host of FCS opponents around the Midwest are in the same boat we’re in,” Pollard said. “We’ll have ample time to work on that over the next several weeks to possibly schedule someone else to be here on the Oct. 20 weekend.
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“Coach Campbell and I have talked about that and we’re in agreement that we would use that bye week if we could to do that. If we can’t find somebody and we’re in a position where we needed a sixth win for a bowl game, then we always have the ability to possibly play on championship weekend.”
The two coaches talked about playing the game on Sunday, but in the end, they figured it wouldn’t be feasible because SDSU doesn’t have a hotel in the area, and it’s likely all the area hotels are booked. Also, the coaches didn’t want to disrupt next week’s preparation. The Cyclones face Iowa next Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.
Pollard said refunds for tickets will probably be contingent on whether or not they get a game on Oct. 20.
Iowa State also had seven suspended players for the SDSU game — three were one-game suspensions. Pollard said he talked it over with Iowa State president Wendy Wintersteen and Faculty Athletics Director Tim Day and they were all in agreement that the suspensions were served on Saturday and those players will be eligible for the Iowa game.
South Dakota State will still get $425,000 from Iowa State for the game.