How FAU stirred up Clemson fans before Saturday night’s game in Death Valley

Chapel Fowler/The State

The Florida Atlantic football team added some extra fuel to the fire ahead of its Saturday game against Clemson with a pregame gesture.

Before heading back to the visitors locker room about 30 minutes before kickoff, the Owls gathered at midfield directly above the Tiger Paw on the 50-yard line of Memorial Stadium.

Florida Atlantic’s pregame meeting on the Paw drew boos from a number of Clemson fans in attendance for the team’s first night game of the year. Multiple Owls players and staffers pumped up the crowd in reaction to those boos, according to observations by a State reporter.

FAU’s on-field meeting isn’t the norm for opposing teams at Memorial Stadium, which generally jog back into the locker room after pregame warmups on the field.

Responding to the move on the platform X (formerly Twitter), Clemson fans weren’t happy. A sampling of reactions:

  • “Disrespectful”

  • “Pulling the tail of the tiger”

  • “Boutta learn what valley it is”

FAU, coached by former Texas coach Tom Herman, closed as a 24.5-point underdog to coach Dabo Swinney and the Tigers. Clemson is 1-1 this year, falling out of the rankings after a season-opening loss to Duke and a home blowout of Charleston Southern.

Florida Atlantic, which competes in the American Athletic Conference, is 1-1 and most recently lost to Ohio at home in Herman’s first season as coach.

Kickoff is set for roughly 8 p.m. from Death Valley.