Bring the Noise: Florida State’s Home Field Advantage
Sports fans are well aware of the upper hand that playing at home can provide in big time games.
It can be difficult to measure how much a crowd will impact a given team, as it can vary greatly based on talent level and maturity. In Clemson’s case, it is the pace at which they would like to operate that may be impacted on Saturday.
Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris leans on the hurry up, no huddle offense. Generally speaking, these types of offenses are less effective in road environments because of the challenges of communicating at the line of scrimmage. Clemson is not a particularly methodical offense and can struggle at times in consistently moving down the field in small chunks. Instead, the Tigers tend to rely on explosive plays that will connect by virtue of their elite receivers and backs breaking loose after numerous attempts and wearing a defense down.
The results last season were dazzling, for the most part. What is undeniable is that at least in year one under Morris, Clemson was stifled on the road. How stifled?
Another aspect here is whether or not Clemson’s team overall is even built to maintain the pace that its offense wants to maintain. This is an issue that Auburn faced last year. Chad Morris has voiced his desire to snap the ball with 30 seconds or more left on the play clock. Aside from the fact that this may not be possible given the crowd noise on Saturday, it may not be to Clemson’s advantage to have their defense back on the field too quickly and too often.
The Clemson defense has not played particularly well thus far on the year and FSU does have the horses to give them fits. A gassed and tired Clemson defense may play directly into FSU’s hands down the stretch as the Seminoles have the depth and talent to weather the storm better in the late quarters. Ultimately, that may be the way this game plays out–Florida State finding a way to pull away late in the 3rd quarter after a pretty close battle through the first half of the game. What can be guaranteed is that Doak Campbell Stadium will be rowdy all through the night.