CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF)
- While the road trip is similar for Coastal Carolina, there are several different factors heading into this weekend's quarterfinal matchup with North Dakota State. The Bison beat the Chants by 34 last year on their way to a third straight national championship. Even with the game three days away, there are already differences between this year and last that the Chants believe are helping them.
"We had to play an opening round game, which we had at home," head coach Joe Moglia explained about 2013 playoffs. "Then we had to go to Montana. We traveled 5,500 miles to go there and back. We came back, we had exams, then we had to go up to North Dakota State. Our guys gave it our best shot, but frankly I don't think we had as much juice left as we maybe normally would have."
This year the Chants were given some time off thanks to a first round bye, and then a second round home game against Richmond. But a whole year later, that loss to the Bison still sticks with the team.
"We talked about North Dakota State all season," said senior linebacker Quinn Backus. "Talking about our run fits and stuff like that. So I had to hear about North Dakota State from last year, the spring until now, so this is my opportunity, this is our opportunity as a team to get revenge."
Head coach Craig Bohl left the Bison last year to become the lead man at Wyoming. But even with new personnel, North Dakota State has barely dropped off. It hasn't fallen out of the top five in rankings, even after losing it's only game of the year to Northern Iowa. It also has won 12 straight home playoff games dating back to 1992. But as the anticipation builds for this matchup, the Chants are ready for the challenge.
"We're going to have a good game with these guys," Moglia said. "This is going to be a good football game. It's going to be a football game that I know we'll be ready to go and I know we'll be ready to go out there and give it our best."
"After the game (last year), I was just thinking about the season," Backus said. "And I just thought 'man, I'd like to have another shot at these guys', and now I get my chance."
Kickoff between the Chants and Bison is set for Saturday, December 13th at noon. The game will be televised on ESPN. The winner heads to the FCS National Semifinals.