By Ashley Denny.
PINEHURST, NC- Upon our arrival at the Pinehurst Resort for the ACC Football Kickoff, the members of TCI brainstormed, thinking of what would be good questions to ask the several players that we would be able to interview today. One of the first questions we thought of was “Where is the toughest place you’ve ever played in the ACC?” Here’s what several Boston College, Maryland and Georgia Tech players had to say.
Kenny Tate, a linebacker for the Maryland Terrapins was quick to answer “Death Valley” when asked this question. Tate, who considers himself good at blocking out the crowd noise while playing, believed that it was very difficult to do when playing at Clemson. “Death Valley is definitely the loudest stadium I’ve played in. You can just hear the intensity flowing in the stadium and it’s hard for players to hear the calls and concentrate. It’s very intimidating to play there.”
When asked the same question, running back Roddy Jones and defensive tackle Logan Walls of Georgia Tech both gave the honor to Virginia Tech solely because they faced the Hokies at night last season.
“Virginia Tech had one loud stadium,” Roddy Jones said. “It was probably mostly because it was a night game so fans were more pumped for it, but all in all it was very loud. If we would have played Clemson in a night game, no doubt I’d say Death Valley was the loudest but we played them in the afternoon.”
Although Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly played his first game at Clemson in 2009 when the game was stalled twice due to rain delays, he still named Death Valley the loudest ACC stadium he’s had to play in.
“Clemson was the most difficult place to play in my opinion,” Kuechly said. “It’s just so loud in Death Valley. I feel like even if Clemson was losing a game Death Valley would still be rocking. The only time I played at Clemson was when the game lasted like 6 hours due to rain delays and even after the second rain delay the crowd was still loud. It was unbelievable.”
Every player I asked this specific question at least mentioned Clemson and Death Valley as being one of the loudest places they’ve had to play in which can only mean one thing, Clemson fans are doing their job. They are intimidating opposing players and making them remember every experience they’ve had playing in Death Valley.