The crowd this past Saturday in Clemson’s Memorial Stadium was incredible. It pains me to give a complement like this to the orange-clad, but they certainly earned it, and credit is due where credit is due. If Georgia is going to have any chance to beat South Carolina on Saturday and avoid its second 0-2 start in three seasons, the Bulldawg fans will have to show up and duplicate the 12th man performance the Clemson fans put on in Death Valley. Coach Richt addressed this need during his weekly press conference at Butts-Mehre on Tuesday afternoon.
“We really do need our fan base to be a part of this game because crowd noise is obviously a factor,” Richt told the media. “We need our crowd to create that type of atmosphere where it’s going to be very difficult for South Carolina’s offense to operate.”
This is precisely what happened to the Dawgs this past Saturday night.
Taking in the game from the sidelines, I had virtually the same audible experience as the players did. Honestly, I can tell you it was the loudest sporting event I have ever been a part of. The Clemson crowd, though full of alumni and fans, was basically the equivalent of one giant student section. From the moment UGA began a possession until the moment that possession was over, regardless of how it ended, the crowd acted as one loud, noise-making machine.
UGA was guilty of two delay of game penalties, and several times they appeared confused with one another as to what play was being called in from the sidelines. Whenever Aaron Murray would show the slightest hint of confusion, the crowd fed off of their already created momentum, turning their raucousness up even higher.
Coach Richt acknowledges that you, the fans, will play a key role in Sanford Stadium this Saturday. “Our crowd is crucial in this ballgame and any of our home games. You just never know what the one play is that might make the difference,” Richt explained.
Garrison Smith talked with Bulldawg Illustrated’s Vance Leavy about the issue of crowd noise this Saturday as well. Instead of spelling it out for you, here is a clip of what Smith had to say:
It is now up to you, the Bulldawg Nation, to emerge into the difference maker this team needs to avoid falling into that dreaded 0-2 start. You need to stand up to the pundits who consistently declare Sanford Stadium as one of the “least intimidating atmospheres” in the SEC. Be prepared to leave your voice, your energy, your sweat, and your tears in the stands as you become the 12th man on the field. Gone are the days where you accept your neighbor asking you to sit down in front of them. Gone are the days where you allow anybody in your section to sit amongst you silently. Clemson fans are not better fans than those of the Bulldawg Nation, and in no way should they ever be louder in a stadium smaller than ours. This Saturday is your time to show that Athens is indeed a place where no opponent wants to step off the bus.
But it all starts with you, as an individual, not being the weakest link in a pound of 92,746 rabid Dawgs.
The crowd was just loud. However, I did observe microphones every 20 yards or so aimed into the stands. One could come up with a conspiracy theory that during critical times, their voices are being magnified through the PA system. Who knows. Just LOUD.
As far as gimmicks, I will NEVER AGAIN forget how to spell "C-L-E-M-S-O-N..... T-I-G-E-------R-S!!!