Crossing the Pacific is challenging

August, 24, 2010
8/24/10
7:48
PM PT
On one hand, USC eases into its 2010 schedule by opening with a middle-of-the-pack Western Athletic Conference team. But the Sept. 2 opener at Hawaii isn't without challenges, primary among them the setting.

Aloha Stadium can be a disconcerting experience for opposing teams, who must cope with an artificial surface, tropical climate, three-time zone adjustment and hostile fan base.

"It's a big concern," Trojans coach Lane Kiffin said. "That's why people have gotten beaten over there over the years."

Kiffin said his primary concern will be keeping his team from losing its composure. USC was among the most-penalized team in the nation last year, averaging more than 61 yards in penalty yards per game.

"For whatever reason over the years, people have had a lot of penalties over there," Kiffin said. "It's a great test for us to establish what we talked about since the day we got here, to be extremely disciplined."

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.
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