The Fargodome is 1,324 miles from Bridgeforth Stadium, making Saturday’s game at North Dakota State University the farthest road trip James Madison has ever taken. And it could also be the loudest.
North Dakota State drew an average of 18,272 fans this season, filling its dome to 98 percent capacity.
Matthews - who quipped he “didn’t know there was a North Dakota” - said he spoke with former Northeastern coach Rocky Hager, a former NDSU coach, on Sunday.
"He just said, ‘It’s gonna be loud. They like their football,’" Matthews said.
To help prepare his team for that noise, Matthews said he plans to blast loud music at Bridgeforth Stadium during practice this week […]
Matthews also said the team will consider employing more hand signals and even some silent snap counts to avoid potential hearing difficulty at the 18,700-seat dome on Saturday.
JMU is 3-1 all-time playing in domes, but those games were between 1979-87, and all at East Tennessee State. To get an idea of how infrequently JMU plays in domes, they had to order $4,000 worth of Nike turf shoes this week.
"I didn’t know they had Astroturf still," Matthews said. "This may be the only place in the nation that still plays on it. A lot of the coaches in their league complain about it. And they complain so much, they haven’t done anything about it. So it’s going to be different for our players."