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.
|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|