EAST LANSING, Mich. — The University of South Florida’s football game at Michigan State kicked off over an hour late, after a delay due to “extreme” weather and lightning in the area.
About 30 minutes before the scheduled noon kickoff, MSU officials ordered the 75,005-seat stadium to be evacuated until conditions were safe.
Weather maps were shown on the stadium scoreboard. Fans grudgingly departed, either to nearby buildings or their cars, but the MSU student section didn’t budge, even after officials and police officers tried to force movement. Eventually, Spartans men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo emerged, grabbed a microphone and urged the students to leave.
“When it’s over, I’ll be back here to sit right in the middle of you,’’ Izzo said, drawing cheers.
Shortly after Izzo’s appearance, heavy rain hit Spartan Stadium, adding some haste to the last of the evacuees.
USF (0-1) is seeking to rebound from last week’s 53-21 home defeat against McNeese State. The Bulls will start senior Bobby Eveld at quarterback today.