The Gophers will play and coach their first away game of the season Saturday at Michigan State PJ Fleck wants to make sure his players’ eyes and ears are prepared.
“If you had come to practice today, you’d be sitting here exhausted, ready to have a few beers just to calm you down,” Fleck joked on his KFXN FM radio show. “It was one of the most chaotic practices – organized chaos. The sights, the sounds, everything was in place to create distractions. [It was] loud as can be. You have to perform under that pressure.”
The Gophers already have high-tempo drills with music playing throughout. This week Fleck turned the volume knob up to 11, with some Spartans-specific sounds.
“We have a lot of respect for Michigan State, their heritage, their fans and the environment they create,” added Fleck, whether it’s boos, whether it’s … various Spartan-esque clips from the movie ‘300’ that come out of the loudspeakers.”
quarterback Tanner Morganwho will bark signals for the gophers amid the din of 75,000 at Spartan Stadium, believes the simulation is helping his team.
“It definitely prepares you. It’s very loud,” he said. You have to overcommunicate like crazy.”
Fleck knows his players will hear what’s being said and shouted by Spartans fans, but he doesn’t want them to hear it.
“They are right above you. Nobody wants you to do good. You say nothing good. And you keep hearing this negativity,” he said. “… It just has to be white noise in the background. That’s what we hope to teach our players every away game.”
- Weather.com forecast East Lansing for a mostly cloudy Saturday with a high of 66 degrees and a 16% chance of rain.
- This will be one of two games the Gophers play on a natural grass field in the regular season, the other being on Oct. 22 at Penn State.
- The Gophers’ 149 total points in the first three games of the season is the fourth-highest in program history. The 1904 team scored 259 points against Twin Cities Central High School, South Dakota and Shattuck. A year later, the Gophers scored 170 points against Twin Cities Central, Pillsbury/Shattuck and St. Thomas. The 1916 team had 169 points in victories over South Dakota State, North Dakota, and South Dakota.