Frisco, TX – First comes the touch down. Then likely the touchdowns.
The North Dakota State and Sam Houston State squads are scheduled to arrive in Frisco on Wednesday to continue preparations for the NCAA Division I Football Championship Game on Saturday.
Their meeting is a championship rematch of North Dakota State's 17-6 victory at FC Dallas Stadium last January.
Arrival is a lot different for the two teams. Sam Houston State is a 200-mile trek from Huntsville. North Dakota State is flying in from Fargo.
But the defending national champion Bison have a loyal following, so Sam Houston State isn't expected to have a homefield advantage.
"I know North Dakota State travels very well," Sam Houston State coach Willie Fritz said. "I think it's really neat to have a sellout. It's a hard ticket to get. People around here are going crazy trying to get a ticket and I'm sure that's the same way up in North Dakota ..."
Both teams will hold practices on Thursday and Friday on the fields outside the stadium.
There also will be an assortment of news conferences, community events, banquets and other events.
"Well, what we have found typically is by the time you get to Frisco, most of your game plan is going to be pretty much entrenched and all you're really trying to do is just get yourself acclimated to surroundings," North Dakota State coach Craig Bohl said.
"There are a lot of festivities that are for the student-athlete, and so we want to make sure that we are focused on the game plan at hand before we are able to get down there. Because once you get down there, between different luncheons and pictures and press conferences and other activities, there's really not near as much time to really get focused on the game."
Top-ranked North Dakota State, from the Missouri Valley Football Conference, brings a 13-1 record into the game. Sam Houston State, from the Southland Conference, is 11-3.