Tony Elliott admitted the first time he walked into The Dome at Syracuse back in 2013 when Clemson first played there. He was surprised to see all the traditions and the former college football and NFL greats who played there.
The list of former greats is almost endless. Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Floyd Little, Donovan McNabb, Larry Csonka, Ark Monk and Marvin Harrison to name a few.
“There is a lot of tradition that you may not know about Syracuse football being where we are,” Elliott said. “But they have the plaques of the players up on the wall. So, you kind of see that these guys have some traditions. They have got some pride. Their fans get into it. They do a good job of creating some noise when they can, just like they do in our stadium when the defense is on the field.”
The Tigers (2-0, 1-0 ACC), who play Syracuse Saturday at 7:30p.m., at The Dome, are expecting a lot of noise this time around, too. Syracuse announced earlier in the week they will have their first sellout here in 21 years.
“Again, it gets louder than you think it would be. The noise is trapped in there,” Elliott said. “It is going to be a hostile environment. It is homecoming for them. So, they have a couple of things they are going to be playing into, so they are going to be excited.”
The Orange (1-1, 0-0 ACC) are also going to be hungry for a win. They’re coming off an embarrassing 43-point loss at Maryland last week. They would love nothing more than to recreate a repeat of two years ago when they then stunned second-ranked Clemson with a 27-24 victory.
“It is going to be loud. Contrary to what you think it is going to be, it is going to be loud,” Elliott said. “It is going to be hostile. We have to make sure that we block out the noise and we focus on ourselves. We have to throw what happened last week out the window.
“This is a team, I think at the time, ended up that season maybe not having a winning record and they beat is up there on a Friday night.”
Syracuse almost beat the Tigers last year in Death Valley. They led by 10 points early in the fourth quarter before Clemson rallied with two late touchdowns to pull out a 27-23 victory.
“So, this is a team that is confident. They feel like they played with us last year,” Elliott said. “They beat us a couple of years ago. This is a team that you can’t look at what happened to them last week and think you can walk in there and they are going to lay down. They still have everything on the table for them. This is a division game. They are undefeated in the division just like we are. So, this is going to be a situation that we have to control what we can control and not get distracted by anything coming from the outside.
“We just have to know that these guys are going to come to play and that this is a very good football team despite maybe the outcome last week. Again, it is a division game and everything is still going to be on the table for both teams.”
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