MISSOULA — While Grizzly football fans are used to the weather that comes with a December game in Montana, the same can’t be said for the fans coming from Greenville, South Carolina.
The Montana Grizzlies are facing off against the Furman University Paladins at Washington-Grizzly Stadium in the FCS quarterfinals on Friday evening.
While a wave of maroon is to be expected, there will be a small pocket of purple cheering on the Furman team.
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About 200 Furman University football fans traveled to Missoula for the playoff game, including members of the cheer squad and the team’s mascot.
Most of the fans had never been in Montana before.
“I remember when the brackets first came out and we saw that if we won the second game we’d get to go to Montana, and I was so excited,” said Furman sophomore and cheerleader Anna Hill.
From a smaller college, Furman University fans are not used to the crowd that comes with Washington Grizzly Stadium.
“We have a really, hardcore, dedicated, small group of fans,” Dan Scott, director of broadcasting and the play-by-play voice for all Furman athletics, said. “I mean Furman’s not a large school, so we don’t have the huge extended fan base.”
But it’s not just the larger stadium that the Paladin supporters will have to get used to.
Montana’s game day weather is going to be a new experience for both the players and the fans.
“We don’t usually get to see snow, at least where I’m from in South Carolina, so this is really exciting,” Emily Baxter, junior Furman cheerleader, said.
While the Furman fans were expecting a large Griz fanbase, they were more excited than nervous for the rivalry.
“Obviously not near as many of us as the Grizzly fans, but we’re here to support our boys and cheer on the team so, you know, look forward to it,” Brad Ferguson, parent to a Furman sophomore football player, said.