GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Idaho-Florida game has been canceled because of unsafe field conditions.
Florida Field became unplayable after hours of heavy rain. The season opener for both teams started after a nearly three-hour lightning delay — and then stopped after 10 seconds.
Game officials, athletics directors and the Southeastern Conference officially ruled the game "terminated." If it is rescheduled, it would be restarted as a new game. School officials will decide whether to reschedule it next week.
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 and 48 minutes.
Florida's Valdez Showers electrified the rain-soaked crowd with a 64-yard kickoff return, giving the Gators great field position at the 14-yard line. But then lightning was detected.
The latest strike within 8 miles of the stadium sent players back to the locker room. The game was called about 50 minutes later.
Coming of its worst season since 1979, Florida was hoping to end a seven-game losing streak against the seemingly overmatched Vandals. Idaho has four victories over the last three years, including consecutive one-win seasons, and had one of the worst defenses in the country in 2013.