The Washington Post

Randy Edsall says Michigan’s football crowds are big but not loud

Yes, this is Michigan Stadium hosting a soccer game. It was the best wide-angle shot that was readily available. (By Leon Halip/Getty Images)

In one interview after another this summer, Maryland football coach Randy Edsall has been asked what it will be like to play the perennial powers from the Big Ten, the Michigans and Ohio States and Nebraskas, with their decades of tradition and their rabid fan bases.

As you might expect, Edsall has not backed down. He continued that approach on Wednesday, when Eric Bickel of the Junkies asked whether playing in venues like Michigan’s Big House will be overwhelming to the Terps.

“You know, I had the opportunity to play in the Big House when I was in Connecticut coaching there, and when they had just finished the expansion [to] 113,000,” Edsall said on 106.7 The Fan. “Yeah, it’s big, but it’s not loud. I mean, that’s one thing with Michigan, it’s not a loud crowd. And I think the biggest thing with that situation, you go in there and they understand that, ‘Hey, the field is the same size here at Byrd as it is there.’

“And the biggest thing you’ve got to do is go out and out and get on top of them and try to take the crowd out of the game,” Edsall went on. “But we’ve played at Clemson and Florida State and those places, and Clemson is as loud as it gets. So I don’t think our guys will be intimidated by that. It’s just kind of the history of the Big House and Ohio [State’s] stadium and Penn State. But again, just go focus on what you’ve got to focus on, and that’s playing against the guy you’re lined up next to.”

The Big House is indeed not known for its volume. Via the Michigan Daily in 2007, before the stadium’s expansion:

Sound often evaporates into the air at The Big House, which has a reputation for being a relatively quiet stadium despite touting the nation’s largest crowds …

In a press conference in September, Penn State wideout Deon Butler said the noise and intimidation factor at The Big House were low for a stadium of its size.

“It’s not a super-overwhelming place,” he said. “Yes, it’s large, and they’re supposed to have more people than us, but it’s not overwhelming in the sense that it’s not as tense as Beaver Stadium. Their fans aren’t near as rowdy as our fans.”

Still, you’d have to imagine that some Michigan fans will clip and save Edsall’s “not loud” quote. They might also look toward the New Haven Register, which covered Edsall’s 2010 trip to Ann Arbor with U-Conn.

The Wolverines took a 14-0 lead after the first quarter, scoring on their first two possessions. Edsall didn’t eliminate the crowd as a factor in the Huskies’ poor start.

“I’ll tell you what, it was loud out there,” said Edsall, whose team is more used to the 38,066 fans they play in front of at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. “When I told people we were going to Michigan to play and they said it’s not loud, I don’t know what they were talking about. Maybe it was the new additions that kept the sound in, but I thought it was pretty loud.”

Either way.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.



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