Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Walk-throughs, home and away
By Pedro Moura
LOS ANGELES -- For the first time since the days of Pete Carroll, the USC Trojans will be conducting a walk-through at an opposing stadium this week.
Lane Kiffin has eschewed them since his arrival in January 2010, but he's holding one at MetLife Stadium on Friday, the day before the Trojans will take on Syracuse at 12:30 p.m. PT. Quarterback Matt Barkley said he was looking forward to getting acclimated in advance to the NFL atmosphere at the stadium where the New York Jets and Giants play their respective home games.
As for USC's Coliseum, the Trojans are indeed prohibiting opposing teams from using it for day-before-game walk-throughs, as the Los Angeles Times reported last week, but they're not doing it because Kiffin wanted to get an advantage on opponents.
They're doing it because the new turf company hired by the school this year recommended it, school spokesperson Tim Tessalone said Tuesday. In previous seasons, the Coliseum grass was often awful by mid-season and horrific by the end of the year, and USC's hoping to up those standards some by staying off the field as much as possible.
It's the same reason USC held its final scrimmage of fall camp on Howard Jones Field, the normal practice field, instead of at the Coliseum. It's also why USC practiced on Dedeaux Field for a week-plus in camp while the practice field was being re-done.
And the Trojans might be back on Dedeaux Field at some point this season, too -- to keep the Howard Jones Field fresher than in past years.
But they're still not going to allow any other teams on it more than they need to be.