FARGO, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota State football players and fans are planning pre-dawn, sub-zero wakeup calls in advance of their home playoff game against Coastal Carolina.
Kickoff for Saturday's Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinal game is 11 a.m., in order to accommodate television coverage. But the tailgating lots outside the Fargodome will open at 5:30 a.m., and the pregame meal for players is scheduled for 7:15 a.m.
"Oh, that's early. I am going to be tired," Bison running back John Crockett said with a smile. "Actually, we are looking forward to it. It's going to be fun."
The players will follow the same pregame routine as they have for all home games this season, except this time they will be gathering for breakfast instead of brunch. The normal spaghetti, stir fry and sandwich bars will be replaced by scrambled eggs, pancakes, French toast, waffles and lean meat.
But no bacon, said Jim Kramer, the team's director of athletic performance.
"It doesn't digest very well," he said.
Kramer said he doesn't expect the sunrise start to be an issue. He schedules summer workouts for the players at 5:30 a.m.
However, he doesn't want players to go directly from their beds to the breakfast table. He's asking them to move around first in order to work up an appetite for the morning meal.
"Your typical college student, I might worry about them," Kramer said. "But your college student-athlete, that's not going to be a factor. This crew is not unaccustomed to getting up early at all."