CollegeMontana State Bobcats

Actions

Home field advantage could be critical for Montana State in latest playoff matchup with NDSU

Marcus Wehr
Posted at 5:12 PM, Nov 27, 2023

BOZEMAN — Something so critical in a sports postseason is home-field advantage. That's what No. 6 seed Montana State has earned this Saturday as it hosts North Dakota State in the second round of the FCS playoffs.

The advantage of a playoff game at home doesn't guarantee you a win, but with MSU holding the longest active home game winning streak in Division I college football with 26 straight wins, it sure does help.

"I mean, we’re glad we get this opportunity again to host a home playoff game," Bobcats coach Brent Vigen said. "And we’re going to make the most of what our fans come out to watch us and support us. They’ve been so great for us, and they’ve been so impactful in those games, and we need that again.

"Obviously, we need to do everything we can as a team to stir them up as this game goes along."

The players are excited to be back home at Bobcat Stadium, hosting North Dakota State for the first time since 2010.

The last time these teams met was in 2021 the national championship game in Frisco, Texas, a game MSU ultimately lost. To have the ability for the Bison to come to Bozeman is an advantage the Bobcats are looking forward to.

"Oh, I’m so excited," Bobcats linebacker Danny Uluilakepa said. "It’s a different environment over here, so coming here to play, it’s a lot harder."

"Yeah, I think it’s a good opportunity, and you know, we've just got to show out on Saturday," Bobcats offensive tackle Marcus Wehr said.

The amount of road games for NDSU have been few when it comes to the playoffs, but after a three-loss season the Bison will be leaving Fargo, N.D., for the second round.

Vigen, an NDSU alum and former Bison assistant coach, spoke to the home dominance they represent, one they just added to with a first-round 66-3 win over Drake this past Saturday.

"I know NDSU is on the verge of most wins in FCS playoff history, and they’re 35-1 at home," Vigen explained. "So, their home field has been critical to their success."

The true home advantage MSU has stems from the 12th man Bobcat Nation gives them on Saturdays.

"It’s playing in front of your fans," Vigen said. "It’s what the fans can do to alter the game. It’s maybe as simple as sleeping in your own bed the night before game. I think that there’s a lot of things that can help you."

The game kicks off at 1 p.m. on Saturday and will be streamed on ESPN+.