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The Sports Network
By Brandon Lawrence, FCS Assistant
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 7, 2 p.m. (ET).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Washington-Grizzly Stadium (25,217) -- Missoula, Montana. Surface: Sprinturf. Television: ESPN3.com. Announcers: Trey Bender, Al Groh. Home Record: Coastal Carolina 7-0; Montana 5-1. Away Record: Coastal Carolina 4-2; Montana 5-1. Series Record: First meeting. Conference: Coastal Carolina - Big South; Montana - Big Sky. Nicknames: Coastal Carolina Chanticleers; Montana Grizzlies. Sports Network FCS Ranking: Coastal Carolina (11); Montana (4). NCAA Playoff Seedings: Coastal Carolina (NS); Montana (8). Head Coaches: Coastal Carolina - Joe Moglia (second season, 19-7 at Coastal Carolina and overall); Montana - Mick Delaney (second season, 15-8 at Montana and overall). Playoff Records: Coastal Carolina (2-3); Montana (32-19). Previous FCS Playoff Appearances: Coastal Carolina 3 (2006, 2010, 2012); Montana 21 (1982, 1988-89, 1993-2009, 2011). Current Playoff Streak: Coastal Carolina has lost three of its five playoff games; Montana has won eight of its last 11 playoff appearances.
GAME NOTES: After two straight years of losing to Coastal Carolina in the first round of the postseason, you think Bethune-Cookman has had enough of the Chanticleers?
In 2012, Coastal Carolina advanced past Bethune-Cookman to face Old Dominion. And, as we know from our astute ability that is hindsight, things didn't go so well in that second-round matchup for the Chants.
This year they take on Montana, a team that earned a first-round bye after a 10-2 season which included a defeat of rival Montana State two weeks ago. This game will mark a first for the Chanticleers and Grizzlies, as these two teams have never met on the field before. Coastal Carolina, for that matter, has never faced a team from the Big Sky Conference in its program history.
To really hammer this point home, here's a fun fact: Coastal Carolina is traveling 2,492 miles to Washington-Grizzly Stadium to face Montana this weekend. The previous longest distance the Chanticleers traveled for a football game was 724 miles to Toledo. The team has never left the Eastern Time Zone for a football game. Ever.
And to top it off, the weather forecast on Saturday in Missoula calls for a high of 11 degrees. South Carolina, meet Montana.
The game itself features two strong offenses with unique weapons. Coastal Carolina running back Lorenzo Taliaferro won't burn the Montana defense with his speed, but can certainly put a hurt on players with his power. And quarterback Alex Ross was sensational against B-CU, throwing for four touchdowns. But the dynamic Grizzlies offense led by Jordan Johnson featuring skill position players like Jordan Canada, Travon Van and Ellis Henderson can be just as deadly.
Montana's defensive unit, which ranked third in the Big Sky in run defense, will be hard at work containing Taliaferro and the Chants. Remember, that Grizzlies run defense held Montana State to 112 total rush yards and one offensive touchdown.
After last season's playoff absence, be assured the Grizzly faithful will be out in full playoff force this weekend.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Montana 34, Coastal Carolina 24.
12/04 11:21:46 ET