ESPN conducted a roundtable discussion with several SEC players that was published on Wednesday discussing the most hostile environments in the conference.
Neyland Stadium seemed to make quite an impact on Georgia tight end Jeb Blazevich, who was part of the UGA team that fell short in Knoxville in 2015.
“I feel like at every away stadium there’s always that moment where they get really loud,” Blazevich said in the article. “Whether it’s at the very beginning or Tennessee last year at the very end – we have to go 99 yards to win a game and people were loud. They didn’t want us to do so. It’s unique playing on the road. I feel like that’s the hard part, getting your mind focused in hostile environments, but that’s what we train for.”
Arkansas linebacker Brooks Ellis also weighed in with a mention of Neyland among the three that stand out to him:
“Texas Tech was pretty hostile, but SEC-wise, you can’t get any worse than LSU,” he said. “Tennessee was pretty bad, too. And Ole Miss. Those three were pretty brutal. They get really hostile, and it’s always a fun atmosphere to be at. They’re just really loud atmospheres, lots of drunk people everywhere, saying whatever they want to say to you. It’s just crazy.”
This isn’t the first time an opposing player has given Neyland and UT fans props. Oklahoma center Ty Darlington gave pretty much the ultimate compliment to the experience after playing in Knoxville last September.
“Absolutely not — not even close,” Darlington told OUDaily.com last year when asked if any other crowd he faced approached what he saw in Neyland Stadium. “Nothing I’ve ever experienced or ever will experience will compare to Tennessee.”