Rumors leading up to Saturday's opener had it that the brand-new widescreen video board in the Coliseum's west end wouldn't be ready in time for kickoff, but it looked fine an hour before the start.
We're just about set to go at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum for the Trojans' 2011 season opener against Minnesota. Here are a couple of last-minute things worthy of an update before kickoff:
As you can see in the photo above, the brand-new video board in the West End of the Coliseum is officially functioning, and it's very, very loud. Some stats on it: it's approximately 40 feet high and 150 feet long, reportedly ranking it the second-largest in the country at the college level. It's 792p and covers the distance of approximately 1,686 37-inch flat-panel TVs.
An important on-field update: Redshirt freshman running back D.J. Morgan will get the start for the Trojans over Dillon Baxter and Curtis McNeal, and he'll also be wearing a new number. He's now No. 30 after wearing No. 34 for his first year-plus at USC. In other news, defensive lineman Armond Armstead has not been medically cleared and will not play.
As expected, safeties graduate assistant Sammy Knight is taking control of the defensive backs in pre-game warmups in place of the resigned Willie Mack Garza. Knight played at USC from 1993-1996 and earned All-Pac-10 honors his senior year.
Join us here on the USC Report on ESPNLA.com at 12:30 p.m. PT as Arash Markazi, Mark Saxon and I will keep you updated throughout the game in Trojans Live!, a full-blown interactive chat.