There are few places in college football that provide a massive home field advantage for the teams that play there. One of the most legendary and intimidating is the game is the famous Death Valley, more formally known as Frank Howard Field at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina. From Clemson touching Howard’s Rock before their descent down the hill and onto the field to the 82,000 plus which cram pack their way into Death Valley’s confines on Saturdays, there’s few places that draw fear from opposing teams like it does.
In a massive matchup like the one between the Clemson Tigers and the Florida State Seminoles this Saturday where the teams are essentially a dead-even tie on paper, home field advantage can make all the difference in the world. How much of an advantage it remains for the full 60 minutes, however, will be largely due to how Clemson performs in the early going and what Tajh Boyd and his squad do to ensure the decibel levels are at an all-time high.
Given the Seminoles have failed to win in Death Valley since 2001, the advantage it can provide is more than obvious. You can bet the Tigers faithful will be more amped up and, well, lubricated for an evening kickoff. Plenty of time to hit the ol’ adult beverages at the tailgates around the stadium throughout the day. They’ll be plenty prepped to be as loud as they have ever been in anticipation of their Tigers finally breaking through the glass ceiling of the nation’s top teams which is so often promised by their level of talent on paper, but betrayed by tough losses when wins would matter most.
As much as managing what is sure to be his biggest logistical test yet, Florida State QB Jameis Winston will be tasked with making a big play early to quiet the crowd and at a minimum give them some reason for contemplation. If the Tigers get off to a quick start, get the crowed amped up to an even higher level and feed off their energy it could be a very long evening for Jimbo Fisher‘s squad in Death Valley.
It truly will be a test of wills for the two teams which will determine how much noise and energy at Frank Howard Field play a factor. The potential for a legendary ‘performance’ from the Clemson faithful is there.
Can the Tigers take advantage?
Kris Hughes is a Senior Writer and Business Analyst for Rant Sports.