By Jason Barfield,
The Huntsville Item
The kickoff between Sam Houston State and Montana is still more than 48 hours away, but that hasn’t kept fans from both sides debating and speculating on who will win this weekend’s Division I-AA semifinal game.
Both Kat and Griz fans have been pounding the keyboard all week on message boards on the Internet stating a case for their team.
While trash talking a team on the Web can usually get nasty, both sets of fans have kept it pretty civilized this week.
For the Bearkats, the main message board is at The Bearkat Sports Forum, located at www.bearkatsportsforum.com. The site has about 20 to 30 regular members who post, but this week the number has doubled.
Most of the talk this week has centered around the expected weather at Washington-Grizzly Stadium and the amount of noise the 20,000-plus fans can generate in the stadium nestled in the mountain valley.
The following is a few perspectives from some SHSU fans on the BSF:
EUR ” This game will not be a cakewalk. We know that! The Grizzlies are ready for a re-match and they’re itching to give us payback after we beat them as the #1 team in Div.1-AA earlier this season. But if the ‘Kats stay focused and AVOID PENALTIES (the penalties against EWU were just ridiculous!) and no TURNOVERS then we’ll come away with another ‘W’! GO ‘KATS! RE-DEFEAT THE GRIZZLIES!”
– Spock of SHSU
EUR ” You Griz don’t need to hit us with all the WA-GRIZ crowd psychology… we know the place, have been there a couple of times… know about the great fans, great atmosphere, and more spirited play of the Griz on the home turf! It is Impressive…. but…………..We’ll be ready for ya GRIZ!”
EUR ” I don’t think you will find a BK that will count the Griz out. We know it will be very competitive and a task to win in Grizland. However, our guys know they CAN beat the Griz and the Griz knows we can too.”
The Montana board (egriz.com) is a very active site, with as many 20 members browsing the site at any give time. There is even a little talk about the this weekend’s game once you get past all the threads at the top of the page about which flight they are taking to Chattanooga, Tenn., for the national championship game.
Egriz.com is one of the most active team message boards in all of I-AA and is usually a good read. Just like the SHSU message board, there is very little smack talk about Saturday’s game.
A few samples from egriz.com:
EUR “We need pressure on Long. I want REAL pressure not just hurries and near misses. I want DeCoite like power hits, knock downs, and things that need a little medicine! Even if we give up a few big plays at the beginning, we need to hit this guy and knock him down.”
EUR “One big difference I’ve noticed from our defense is the tackling. It’s gotten much better since we played them the first time. I remember a bunch of missed open field tackles that game. Lately, the guys haven’t been doing that.”
EUR “While SHS has fast receivers, I believe the poor showing by the Griz in Sept. made them look faster. The turf also contributed to the speed, and resulted in the Griz taking bad angles. If you’re not used to playing on the carpet-like turf, the receivers come at you faster than normal (and, if you’re not prepared, faster than you expect).”
One other good site to check out is anygivensaturday.com. It is a national board that has discussion on all of I-AA football. Some of the regulars on that board never seem to leave it. Guys like Cap’n Cat, UmassFan and Mr. Chicken can pretty much be seen chiming in on any topic. It is by far one of the most entertaining I-AA Web sites on the Net.
EUR “SHSU has the best player on the field, and as we’ve already seen in the playoffs, that can ultimately be the difference. I think Montana wins the game, but if they don’t put it away and let SHSU hang around, things will start to get a little tense in Washington-Grizzly, and if they give Dustin and the boys an opening, he’s played in enough big spots to take advantage.”
– Typical Tribe
(William and Mary fan)
If you can’t wait to for Saturday, then check out these three sites. There is more than enough content there to keep you going until kickoff. All three are free and take just a few minutes to register a user name.