College football in the midst of the pandemic certainly has a different flavor as stadiums across the country limit crowds with social distancing procedures.
Saturday’s season opening matchup in primetime between No. 1 Clemson and Wake Forest will be even stranger after the state of North Carolina decided it will not allow fans in the stands for at least the month of September.
However, the ACC and NCAA are doing everything they can to simulate a typical game atmosphere with artificial crowd noise and music piped in through the public address system for its member schools.
Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott told media members on Monday that the team has been preparing for the artificial noise, but is uncertain what effect the music will have on his unit’s ability to hear snap counts on Saturday night.
“The information I have received is that the ACC has protocols on that, and each time is going to be allowed to pump in music,” Elliott said. “I don’t know how loud that music can be but there are certain parameters in place that once we are ready to snap the football it has to be brought down to an agreed upon level by both football teams.”
The ACC said teams are allowed to utilize music and crowd noise but cannot prohibit teams from receiving calls after breaking the huddle or settling under center. The nature of the allowance gives way to a lot of interpretation, so the Tigers are prepared to call plays and snap the ball no matter the circumstance.
“So, I am anticipating that we are going to have some noise, but I don’t know the level of it.,” Elliott said. We are prepared to use the snap counts for that situation and in the situation that they are able to crank the sound up loud, then we will have snap counts available for that level as well.”
Game Day in Winston-Salem will look much different on Saturday, but nonetheless Clemson football returns at 7:30 p.m. against the Demon Deacons on ABC.
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