The noise factor

The noise factor

CLEMSON - Considering Saturday's game at Auburn will be the largest crowd Clemson has ever played in front of, noise could certainly play a factor.

It sounds strange when you think about it, but yes indeed, when Clemson takes to the field against Auburn Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium, it will be the largest crowd the Tigers from South Carolina will have ever seen.

And even if it's only five or six thousand more fans than the biggest crowd ever at Death Valley, it's safe to say noise will be a factor.

"Obviously all week our preparation changes," redshirt sophomore center Dalton Freeman tells CUTigers. "We'll practice against crowd noise, we really go into a silent count all week. So when you go into that hostile environment on Saturday, you're prepared for it.

"Luckily we have a lot of experience coming back up front so I don't have to worry too much about that. All of our guys have been in these situations and they know our offense as well as I do."

Freeman, who took over the starting position last year, also said there's a plan in place even if his teammates on the offensive line can't hear him.

And it all relies on experience.

With four of five starters back on Clemson's offensive line, the unit is working more cohesively than it ever has before.

"During camp when we're practicing against our defense, our defense would learn our calls so we didn't even make calls in order to try and give us an advantage," he said. "This will be one of those types of weeks; they may not be able to hear my calls but they'll know what to do.


"I think anytime you can fly under the radar and surprise some people, that's always fun," Freeman said. (Getty Images)
"Communication will obviously be limited because of the crowd noise, but like I said, we practice for that all week and we'll be prepared."

With ESPN's popular college football pregame show Game Day on hand, plus the fact it's a night game, Jordan-Hare Stadium could be even louder than normal.

That fact wasn't lost on head coach Dabo Swinney in his Tuesday press conference.

"Well they will have had a long day down at Toomer's Corner down at Auburn," Swinney said. "Drinking the kool-aid. they will be fired up. I've been to a few night games down there."

Even so, Freeman believes it's all good for him and his teammates.

After all, for one of the few times in the last couple of years, it's not Clemson getting all the hype for a nationally televised game - it's the Tigers' opponent.

Remember, Auburn comes in as the ranked team at No. 15 in the country. Clemson is unranked.

Auburn is also a touchdown favorite.

"I think anytime you can fly under the radar and surprise some people, that's always fun," Freeman said. "Whereas having the spotlight on you and not blowing everyone out, you're not a good enough team. So I think it's fun to be in this kind of situation."

Of course, it will be even more fun if the Tigers from South Carolina can pull the upset.

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