Coastal Carolina's excellent playoff adventure, from coldest game to loudest stadium
Last week, Coastal Carolina's football team traveled 2,504 miles to play in what coach Joe Moglia called "the coldest game ever played in the history of FCS."
WHO: Coastal Carolina (12-2) at North Dakota State (12-0)
WHEN: Saturday, noon
WHERE: Fargodome, Fargo, N.D.
The Chants' playoff adventure continues with a 1,592-mile trek to what might be the loudest venue in college football, North Dakota State's Fargodome.
Coastal Carolina (12-2) takes on the top-ranked Bison (12-0) Saturday at noon in Fargo, N.D., in the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs. The game will be televised on ESPN.
During North Dakota State's 38-7 win over Furman last week, NDSU scientists measured the noise level inside the Fargodome at 115 decibels, the equivalent of a Metallica concert at close range, and just 10 decibels shy of the pain threshold.
The Guinness World Record for noise at a sporting event is 136.7 decibels at the Seattle Seahawks' outdoor CenturyLink Field. The record for an indoor arena, of 126 decibels, was set last month at the Sacramento Kings' Sleep Train Arena.
"It was quite loud and that can be very disturbing to the opposing team," NDSU professor Mark Schroeder said.
After preparing his team last week for brain-freezing cold - it was -5 degrees with a windchill of -20 for the Chants' 42-35 win at Montana - Moglia has spent this week getting for the noise in the 19,000-seat Fargodome.
Georgia Southern coach Jeff Monken has taken his team to the Fargodome twice, and lost both times.
"I've coached in a lot of great venues during my career, but there is no place louder than the Fargodome," Monken told a North Dakota paper last week. "There is no verbal communication whatsoever when you are down on that field. It's unbelievable. It's the best atmosphere in college football - at any level."
Moglia has heard that much, anyway.
"Most coaches would say the visiting team is at a very real disadvantage there," said Moglia, who in his second season at CCU is a finalist for the FCS coach of the year award. "It's probably the loudest venue in the country. I've heard guys say you look at other guys and see their mouth moving, but no voice is coming out."
Moglia said last week's game at Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula, Mont., was the loudest he'd experienced until now.
"We have played in some loud venues - Liberty, South Carolina - but Montana was louder than both of those," he said. "Everything we do is hand signals, and we practice with loud music, so we will do what we can to get ready."
Of course, noise is not the only thing North Dakota State has going for it. The Bison have won two straight FCS titles, and opened this season with a 24-21 upset of Kansas State. NDSU ranks first in FCS in scoring defense, allowing 11.2 points per game.
On offense, quarterback Brock Jensen has hit 66.9 percent of his throws for 2,325 yards and 28 touchdowns against just six interceptions. And the Bison are likely to finish the season with two 1,000-yard rushers - Sam Ojuri has 1,077 yards, and John Crockett is close with 947.
But there is some fear in Fargo this week, as coach Craig Bohl announced Sunday that he's leaving after 11 years to take over at Wyoming. Bohl will coach the Bison throughout the playoffs.
"Their coach may be leaving, but he's staying to finish up," Moglia said. "And it's only happened once before where a team has won three national championships in a row. I have no doubt that's the goal for their team and their coaching staff. They're going to want to be able to do that no matter what happens, so that's not going to have any impact. They're going to be totally focused on the game."
One thing's for sure: It might get loud.