Herd-Volunteers In-Game Storyline

Marshall and No. 15 Tennessee were to kickoff their second-ever meeting at 4:00 p.m. today at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, but heavy rain and, more importantly, lightning caused the kickoff to be moved back over one hour. The Southeastern Conference has instituted new rules for lightning requiring teams and other students to clear the field for at least 30 minutes before resuming play.

Neither team had started its warm-ups, so when the clock was started at about 4:25, following numerous lightning strikes in a six-to-15 mile radius of the stadium, the two teams were given 30 minutes to warm-up for the game. A still very good crowd was removed to the concourse on two occasions by Tennessee officials between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Three to five inches have fallen today in the Knoxville area, with more rain and storms expected from Southwest Tennessee, moving at 40 miles per hour. While the temperatures are in the mid-60s, the wind may yet be a factor, along with lightning. The SEC has equiped every press box with equipment to register lightning strikes and has, by conference rule, to let the officials know when a strike takes place 15 miles or more closer to a stadium. A strike of six miles or less will cause the teams, bands and cheerleaders to be sent inside for another 30 minute delay, following the last strike in that six-mile perimeter.

The sun broke through, however, during the National Anthem for the start of the game. The rain was so heavy in the pre-game, Tennessee was dropped off at the stadium in buses, instead of making the "Walk" through the Vols fans, a staple of pre-game since UT grad Phil Fulmer (1972) took over his alma mater 15 years ago. MU head coach Mark Snyder, also coaching his alma mater, borrowed the walk for the Herd pre-game.

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