Clemson, Tennessee fans arrive for Capital One Orange Bowl game in South Florida while MDPD conducts security checks

Miami Gardens, Florida. (WSVN) – One of college football’s biggest nights will kick off at the 89th Capital One Orange Bowl, with players gearing up, fans from both teams heading to South Florida and police gearing up own preparations.

About 65,000 fans are expected to cheer on the sixth-ranked Tennessee Volunteers and seventh-ranked Clemson Tigers Friday night at Hard Rock Stadium.

This is the most orange bowl in game legend history.

7News cameras captured fans outside the stadium on Friday afternoon.

“Come on, Tiger. We’re in,” said one Clemson fan.

“It’s great to be here for the Orange Bowl,” said one Tennessee fan.

Tennessee fans drove hours from Knoxville to watch the game.

“[We left] Yesterday morning, um, midnight, it took us 16 hours to drive,” Tennessee fan Jason Mathis said.

Asked why it was important for him to go all the way, Tennessee fan Ryan Stewart replied: “Obviously, it’s for our team. We were going to fly, but the flight was canceled, so We rented a car at the last minute and just drove.”

But loyal Clemson fans also gave it their all outside the stadium after driving over from South Carolina.

“We drove down yesterday,” said Clemson fan Jim Wyatt, who made the 10-and-a-half-hour drive to South Florida.

The Miami-Dade Police Department conducted a security check of the area Friday morning ahead of the game as a safety measure.

Both teams are looking to end the year on a high note. Clemson was named the Atlantic Coast Conference champion after beating North Carolina on Dec. 3, while Tennessee finished No. 6 nationally.

The MDPD conducted a security scan of the stadium that included K-9 searches of the stands, team locker rooms and club level suites. Authorities also checked the vehicles of all vendors entering the stadium.

All of these measures are in place to ensure the night goes off without a hitch.

“As you can see here, we have a K-9 unit, which is one of the many assets we use,” said MDPD Lt. Jeff Schmidinger. “We have multiple local, federal and state assets here. The K-9 guys are out all day. They start early and stay until the end of the game.”

They used dogs as another layer of protection, Schmidinger said.

“We’re looking for explosives to make sure no one is carrying any kind of explosives, guns or anything that could injure someone,” he said. “We made sure to check the inside of the stadium and any goods that went into the stadium.”

Police said about 300 law enforcement officers were on hand during the game, which began at 8pm, to ensure everyone’s safety.

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