Georgia coach Kirby Smart pointed out earlier this week that there aren’t a lot of similarities between Saturday’s game with South Carolina and last year’s game at Notre Dame, noting that it felt like half of the folks in the stands at South Bend were Bulldogs fans.
Georgia will no doubt find itself in a hostile environment Saturday, and crowd noise likely will play a role in the game, although the Bulldogs frequently strive to ensure that that’s not an issue on the road.
Sophomore offensive lineman Andrew Thomas, who has yet to play at Williams-Brice Stadium, assented that the raucous Gamecocks faithful will make their presence known early and often.
“I guess crowd noise would be something that we have to deal with on the road,” Thomas said. “We also have to adjust to the different speed and level of play.”
Senior defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter said he relishes the opportunity to go into an opponents’ arena.
“I like playing in noisy environments,” Ledbetter said. “I like the competition, and the fans bring a lot of energy to games, just like our fans do. I think when everyone is screaming and yelling you just have more of that drive to do something and to do better. When you are in somebody’s own turf the odds are stacked against you and it is kind of a statement to be able to come out there and handle your business.”
Sophomore offensive lineman Ben Cleveland believes the Bulldogs will ready for their opponent and for the noise.
“We do a good job during the week on away games working on crowd noises and stuff like that,” Cleveland said. “We’ll crank the speakers up as loud as we can get just so we can get the feel of not being able to hear anything while we’re on offense and having to rely on hand signals and having to rely big-time on communication. We work on that every single day, so I think we’ll be very well prepared for that.”