Florida Gators head coach Billy Napier was asked ahead of his team’s matchup with the Tennessee Vols how he thinks his team will handle the noisy crowd at Neyland Stadium on Saturday.
Napier acknowledged this week that it’s something Florida is trying to replicate during practice.
Billy Napier on dealing with the crowd noise on Saturday at Neyland pic.twitter.com/P2wbCaHfSN— zach ragan (@zachTNT) September 22, 2022
“We’ll create some crowd noise in the next couple of days here,” said Napier. “Challenge the communication in particular on offense. I’m going to tell you what, playing in the Swamp is a challenge for our defense from a communications standpoint. It’s just going to be the other side of the ball. Certainly, we spend a ton of time in training camp preparing for those things. We’ll do our very best.”
Napier coached at Clemson and Alabama — he’s familiar with rowdy crowds — but it feels like he’s downplaying the impact that Tennessee fans will have on the game.
(Bringing up the loud home crowd at Florida — and Gators fans certainly get loud — is bizarre considering it doesn’t impact the offense.)
Neyland gets as loud as any stadium in the nation. And this Vols fan base is begging for a reason to explode in celebration. It’s going to be a wild night and it doesn’t sound like Napier fully understands what he’s about to walk into on Saturday.
Perhaps that will work to Tennessee’s advantage. A few false starts or moments of miscommunication could be the difference in the game.
Featured image via Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports