NEW ORLEANS (WIS) - Travis Etienne knows what it’s like to play in the Superdome.
The junior running back competed for a state championship there and even played in the 2017 Sugar Bowl. Having the chance to play in the Superdome has always been special for the reigning ACC Player of the Year and this time won’t be any different.
“It is very exciting,” he said. “Just knowing the opportunity I have to come back to my home state and be able to possibly win a national championship here, which is really great. It’s something you couldn’t think of, something you couldn’t even script in a movie.”
Being from Louisiana, this is almost a homecoming of sorts for Etienne. Almost.
Etienne and the Tigers enter Monday’s game practically as the visitors in this year’s national title game against LSU.
“It’s a road game. That’s just how we look at it,” said Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney. “There’s no doubt. Might as well have just played in Baton Rouge. No different. But maybe have better weather in the Dome, so it’ll be good. But yeah, it’s no different. As I said earlier, it would be like us playing the national championship in Greenville, South Carolina, 40 miles up the road.”
While the game is considered a neutral site contest, Clemson expects LSU fans to show up and be in full force come Monday giving the SEC champs somewhat of a home-field advantage.
“It’s definitely going to be very hostile. It’ll likely be 90-10 or 80-20 LSU,” said Clemson defensive lineman Xavier Thomas. “They’ll have a lot of fans there, but this is what we’re built for.”
Even though there may seem to be a home-field advantage of sorts for LSU, Clemson has no plans to change how they prepare for the challenge that lies ahead.
“You just prepare for it the same way you have all the other ones,” Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence said. “If something is working, why change it? That’s how I see it. You’ve got to prepare the same way and that’s what I’m doing is just preparing the best I can in the time that I have.”