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She will be a cold one Saturday, when the No. 4 Montana Grizzlies play host to No. 11 Coastal Carolina in a second-round Football Championship Subdivision playoff game, and local fans can’t wait to see how the Chanticleers out of Conway, S.C., adjust to the weather.

One forecast has 3 degrees below zero for the noon (Mountain) kickoff, and that would set a record for a game at Washington-Grizzly Stadium, a venue that opened in 1986.

This has at least one Chants booster up in arms: Steve Ross, who has taken to the Internet to question why this game shouldn’t be played at a neutral site.

To which we say: How about Havre?

Yet a frigid temperature is no guarantee of a Griz victory, no matter how bad it sounds to your quarterback’s dad. Of the five coldest games (by temperature at kickoff) played at Wa-Griz, the opposing team was able to win two of them: Delaware in the 1993 playoffs and Wofford in the 2007 postseason.

Both teams ran the ball out of difficult-to-defend option attacks, and failed kicks sealed both one-point losses.

There’s more. Overall the Griz are 4-4 in the eight coldest games played on their home field. That includes an FCS semifinal loss at Massachusetts in 2006 – a Friday night game – and a 21-16 loss to the Cats in 2010.

On the other side of the ledger, Montana is 26-6 in WGS games that started at 32 degrees or lower. And against schools not used to the cold the Grizzlies’ record is even better – you can hardly consider UMass, Delaware, the Cats or Youngstown State warm-weather teams.

There’s also the previous standard for coldest game at Washington-Grizzly Stadium: In 1995, the soon-to-be national champion Griz thumped Stephen F. Austin out of Texas 70-14 in the semifinals. It was 6 degrees at kickoff, which was at 10 a.m. to accomodate ESPN.

The Grizzlies’ status as a cold-weather team is well-documented, though the addition of SprinTurf in 2001 has given Washington-Grizzly Stadium less of a frozen tundra feel. Their history includes frigid wins at Bozeman in 2011 (9 degrees; the Griz won 36-10) and 1991 (12 degrees, Griz won 16-9).

Yet as cold as those games were, they may be no match for another game from the Don Read Era, a 28-9 semifinal loss played in a drenching Ohio rain. If the players can say Saturday was tougher than Youngstown in 1994, then that would be saying something.

Year Opponent Temp. Date Outcome
1995 Stephen F. Austin 6 Dec. 9 UM won 70-14
1993 Delaware 8 Nov. 27 Blue Hens won 49-48
2007 Wofford 13 Nov. 24 Terriers won 23-22
2009 App State 17 Dec. 12 UM won 24-17
1996 Cat-Griz 17 Nov. 23 UM won 35-14
2010 Cat-Griz 18 Nov. 20 Cats won 21-16
2002 Northern Arizona 19 Nov. 2 UM won 38-24
2006 UMass 21 Dec. 8 Minutemen won, 19-17
2011 Central Arkansas 24 Dec. 3 UM won 41-14
1996 Nicholls State 24 Nov. 30 UM won 48-3
2009 Cal Poly 25 Oct. 10 UM won 35-23
1989 E. Illinois 25 Dec. 2 UM won 25-19
2000 Richmond 26 Nov. 25 UM won 34-20
2009 Stephen F. Austin 26 Dec. 5 UM won 51-0
2006 Cat-Griz 27 Nov. 18 UM won 13-7
2011 Northern Iowa 27 Dec. 9 UM won 48-10
2004 Northwestern State 27 Nov. 27 UM won 56-7
2003 EWU 28 Nov. 15 UM won 41-10
2002 Northwestern State 28 Nov. 30 UM won 45-14
2000 App State 28 Dec. 9 UM won 19-16, OT
1996 E. Tennessee St. 29 Dec. 9 UM won 44-14
1995 Idaho State 29 Nov. 4 UM won 35-21
1996 Troy 30 Dec. 14 UM won 70-7
1996 NAU 30 Oct. 26 UM won 48-32
1994 McNeese St. 30 Dec. 3 UM won 30-28
2001 Sam Houston St. 30 Dec. 8 UM won 49-24
2001 Northern Iowa 31 Dec. 15 UM won 38-0
2000 Cat-Griz 31 Nov. 18 UM won 28-3
1999 Youngtown St. 32 Nov. 27 Penguins won, 30-27
2002 Cat-Griz 32 Nov. 23 Cats won, 10-7
1994 No. Iowa 32 Nov. 26 UM won 23-20
1994 Cat-Griz 32 Nov. 19 UM won 55-20

Reporter Fritz Neighbor can be reached at (406) 523-5247 or at fneighbor@missoulian.com.

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