When the coaches and players step onto the field at Williams-Brice Stadium, the surface that will be part of Saturday night's stage has undergone countless hours of maintenance throughout the season.
Clark Cox, USC's Assistant AD for Sports Turf & Landscaping Services. oversees the process of getting the field in peak condition for those high-profile contests that will be seen by a national television audience.
Safety is the first priority with presentation a close second. Cox meticulously looks at the turf with a critical eye, making sure it is ready for the athletes who will deliver quite a beating - not only to each other but to the grass. As far as presentation goes, it is important that fans who watch the game in person or on television see a surface that is a visually impressive.
"We feel like we're judge by how we look," Cox said.
"I'd like to say we're the front yard of the University in a lot of cases because a lot of times we're on television. There are probably a lot of people exposed to the University of South Carolina through sporting events and that may be their first exposure through the University. We like to think we're kind of the curb appeal for the University."
Even though the Clemson game is the final home game for USC, it is not the final contest at Williams-Brice Stadium for 2017. There are games on tap the following Saturday as the high school football season wraps up with State Championship Weekend. That means Cox and his crew will have one more week of work at Williams-Brice Stadium, along with maintaining the fields for other USC sports.
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