EditorsNote: updates with details and quotes
The Servpro First Responders Bowl goes into the books as a “no contest” after Wednesday’s game between Boston College and No. 25 Boise State was canceled due to inclement weather in Dallas.
The contest was interrupted with 5:08 remaining in the first quarter, and strikes continued to pepper the area around the Cotton Bowl for more than a hour. With weather reports calling for the lightning to continue for another four to five hours, the game was stopped and it won’t be made up.
The delay was 80 minutes.
According to the NCAA, the contest is the first bowl game to be canceled due to weather issues.
“We knew there was a chance of inclement weather for this game,” First Responder Bowl executive director Brant Ringler said in a statement. “There were no intentions to move the game. Usually the weather plays out to play the game.
“We had a weather report for what we were going to do and all of those things played out today and we had to make the decision on if we would be able to play today. We had to make that decision and now we just have to move forward.”
Ringler said discussions were held with ESPN and the athletic directors and coaches for both schools before deciding the cancellation was the prudent thing to do.
“Oftentimes weather moves, and we saw what was possibly coming,” Ringler said. “It was listed as scattered thunderstorms, and there was a chance it was going to miss us, but unfortunately it did not.”
Boston College was leading 7-0 when the game was halted. Standout sophomore running back AJ Dillon rushed 19 yards for a touchdown with 9:41 left in the first quarter.
“We all understood that player safety is the most prominent thing in everyone’s minds,” Boston College coach Steve Addazio said afterward. “Where we were with delays, and the forecast, the bowl people had to make a call and we were all in the support of the call they made in the eyes of player safety.”
Boise State senior quarterback Brett Rypien said “it wasn’t safe enough to play,” and he understood why fans who flew into watch the game would be frustrated.
“After about 30 minutes, some guys started to look at the forecast and it didn’t look very good,” Rypien said. “We got news that it was going to be a few hours, and Coach (Bryan Harsin) came in and told us that it was over. It’s not what anybody wanted, but at the same time you cannot control it.”
Boston College athletic director Martin Jarmond said via Twitter that fans who purchased tickets through the school will get a full refund by Jan. 2 and can also pick an athletic event to attend for free between now and next December.
Boise State athletic director Curt Apsey indicated his school would either issue a refund for tickets purchased through the school or provide tickets to a game next season.
The Eagles finished the season with a 7-5 record. Boise State went 10-3.
—Field Level Media