Cats ready for raucous Death Valley encounter

By Cody Porter

It is referred to as Death Valley, the home of the LSU Tigers. 92, 542 screaming fans adorning Tiger Stadium with a mixture of purple, gold and white.

Though once they hear the words, “It’s Saturday Night in Death Valley…
and here come your Fighting Tigers of LSU,” from LSU public dress announcer Dan Borne’, those colors begin to get somewhat blurry.

Come Saturday when most of you will be resting comfortably on your couch from home, Death Valley will be looking like the car windows of the guy with the ridiculously loud stereo that pulls up beside you at a red light. Is it unnecessary? Sure, but it is a sight to behold.

To put how raucous these ragin’ cajuns can be into perspective, in 1988 LSU trailed #4 Auburn late in the game. With 1:47 remaining, the Tigers quarterback Tommy Hodson found his receiver in the back of the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.

What ensued in Death Valley was a celebration so loud that it registered as an earthquake on the seismograph located in LSU’s Howe-Russell Geoscience Complex, located just down the street from the stadium.

To a typical football fan like myself, this place is a bucket list type venue.

If someone were to ask me if I would like to go, I would give the Kel Mitchell (Nickelodeon’s , , etc.) response, “I do, I do, I do, I do-ooh!”

In preparing for the overwhelming sound that his team will be put up against, UK head coach Joker Phillips attempted to go above and beyond normal means at the Cats’ practice on Wednesday.

In an effort to simulate the crowd noise of Tiger Stadium, the UK staff filtered crowd noise over the speakers at the Nutter training facility.

“We had a lot of crowd noise playing today at practice,” Phillips said.

“I’m not for sure if we can have the same effects that it will be down in Tiger Stadium, but we did work with it and we didn’t seem to have any miscues with the crowd noise. Our goal is to get better and improve and we will see how much we will improve on Saturday.”

An aspect of the offense that I’m sure coaches will take a close look at is the ability of Morgan Newton and his offense to attempt to communicate while running the no-huddle.

While I have been a major advocate of this move in order to freshen up the offense, playing in that particular noise against the Tigers defense will be the biggest test for the emerging no-huddle.

After playing Florida on Saturday, Phillips spoke of how turnovers hurt the Cats.

Odds makers have already predicted a Tigers victory, but better odds should be sided with the young offense turning the ball over due to miscommunication.

Although Saturday’s game at NOON may be in the loudest environment that some, if not all of these Cats have ever experienced, the team has one minor factor on their side.

As you may have noticed above, I emphasized the word NOON. Dating back to 1960, LSU is a sub .500 team when playing a day game with an overall record of 24-25-3.

Another potential benefit for the Cats, who already have one noon game under their belts, is that LSU hasn’t played as early as the upcoming 12:21 p.m. ET kickoff since 2008.

It was when the Cats’ fans were able to “believe” in 2007 that UK knocked off the also then No. 1 Tigers. If LSU head coach Les Miles and his players do in fact think sleep is for the weak, as the record suggests, the Cats may be able shake up the polls and “Rise” out of their slump.