Iowa’s 27-0 victory over Nevada took longer than everybody expected to say the least.
As Kirk Ferentz stepped up to the podium at nearly 2:30 a.m. to speak with reporters to complete the final item on his gameday agenda, he first uttered the words “good morning.” He was as exhausted as everybody else at Kinnick surely was, but he still maintained his tame sense of humor.
“It dawned on me — now I know what a baseball clubhouse feels,” Ferentz chuckled. “They play 160 games in major leagues and they are familiar with rain delays. We really aren’t in our sport.”
“It’s kind of unusual in a football locker room, that’s for sure.”
The Hawkeyes experienced a similar delay in 2019 in Ames, when that rendition of the Cy-Hawk series ran 6 and a half hours. But that game started at 3 p.m, this one begun at 6:40. The clock hit triple zeros at 1:40 p.m. for a seven-hour crusade.
Spencer Petras was the backup in 2019. He said he kept busy by playing “Stumble Guys” in the locker room. Between the battle royale and some card games with his teammates, the leader of the bunch knew keeping busy was important during the uncertainty.
“You’ve got to protect your focus,” Petras said. “You only have so much, you can’t control the weather.”
The first stoppage occurred at 8:38 p.m. with 10:02 remaining in the third quarter. That lasted 80 minutes, but just 9 plays later another bolt of lightning struck ground near Kinnick, and both teams went to the locker room yet again.
“Long mental battle, obviously just sitting in the in the locker room for a while,” defensive back Cooper DeJean said. “But we all had to stay focused, stay locked in, finish the job that we started.”
Every time play resumes after a stoppage both teams are given roughly 15 minutes to warm up. At midnight, the Wolf Pack and Hawkeyes tried again. It lasted all of 8 seconds. The policy is to wait 30 minutes after every strike of lightning, but calling the game at that point was not an option. Arland Bruce IV said that was a given in the locker room.
“I knew we’re gonna have to go out there and finish the game.” Bruce said.
“We still had about a quarter and a half to go. We just made sure that we were poised and stayed calm in the locker room.”
Finally at 12:45 play resumed and the game concluded 55 minutes later. Kaevon Merriweather said it best: