Monday, October 04, 2004

Cal and ESPN GameDay Visit the Coliseum


This is the game that people have had circled on their calendar for quite a while. Way back in July, we predicted that this game would feature the #1 USC Trojans vs #6 Cal Golden Bears in front of 90,000. Well, you have to give us some credit as the preseason ranked #21 Cal Bears have risen up to #7 and the game is sold out meaning there will be over 92,000 in attendance.

Adding to the big game atmosphere, ESPN College Football GameDay will be broadcasting live from the Coliseum. This is the official GameDay website. This is simply a huge game for the Trojans, the Bears and the PAC 10 Conference. On Saturday, the PAC 10 will be in quite possibly the brightest national spotlight that the conference has ever seen. Here are a couple of tidbits about the magnitude of this game:

  • This is the first Coliseum sellout (other than UCLA or Notre Dame) since 1952
  • This is only the 3rd time that GameDay has visited a PAC 10 stadium and the first time since 2000
  • The is the first time GameDay has visited USC
  • GameDay is skipping the Oklahoma/Texas (#2 vs #5) matchup to broadcast from the USC vs Cal (#1 vs #7) game

If you play on attending the tailgate, please email Tim with how many are in your party by Thursday at 5pm so we can plan accordingly.

Tailgate Logistics
Needless to say, this is a game to get fired up for. We have fond memories of tailgaiting on site with GameDay as we did at the Rose Bowl earlier this year.

Time: GameDay comes on the air at 7:30am (7:30-9:00am) and the tailgate will be set up by 7am at the latest. Most of the tailgate crew will be at the GameDay set, but Clare and others will watch over the tailgate during the show. When GameDay is finished at 9am, we will be back at the tailgate. Game starts at 12:30pm.

We encourage people to come early and go the GameDay set...this is a great opportunity to show a national audience that USC has great fans that support their team as much as any fans in the country. On top of that, with 92,000 at the game, traffic and parking will be a nightmare.

Location: We will be set-up in the same spot (grass lot on Southwest side of Coliseum on corner of Leighton & Menlo, just outside tunnel 13, adjacent to cement bus/rv lot). Please call Tim at 310 508 5858 or Andy at 310 480 7798 with questions. As usual, you can always look for the USC flags flying high, the 2 EZ Up canopies (one blue, one cardinal) and the cardinal Volvo SUV.

While not confirmed, we believe that GameDay will be set up near the Peristyle entrance to the Coliseum (opposite side of stadium from the tailgate). GameDay will be easy to find....see you there!

Menu: We will be serving breakfast before the game. Eggs, breakfast burritos, pancakes, turkey bacon, bagels, cream cheese etc. There will be breakfast juices and Bloody Mary's to help everyone wake up. The keg and jockey box will be making a repeat appearance and we will also have the full bar set up. There may be a special tailgate drink as well. After the game we will be serving the regular burgers and sausage and hopefully enjoying another USC victory.

Entertainment: We will be flipping between Oklahoma vs Texas and Michigan vs Minnesota (both at 9am) before the game and will be watching LSU vs Florida after the game. Click here to see a list of all the games on TV. The Trojan Marching Band should pass by at about 12:20pm or so. Click to hear the Band (requires Real Media Player).

Cal Preview

  • Cal is a very good team and USC will have to bring its A game for 60 minutes to win. The "revenge factor" alone will not be enough....USC must be ready to play
  • Cal is extremely talented on offense with a star QB in Aaron Rodgers and an outstanding RB (Arrington). Their OL is solid and they have a nice group of receivers (Macarthur, Makonnen, Lyman) and a solid TE (Cross)
  • Cal's defense is an unknown, having played two option teams (Air Force and New Mexico) and a reeling Oregon St. team. They certainly have not seen an offense like USC this year
  • Cal's defense has only forced 4 turnovers (and that includes a game against Oregon St which is a turnover machine!) vs 12 for the USC defense. If USC can win the turnover battle, the Trojans will be in good shape
  • The Trojans have played very vanilla this year on offense and defense...look for some new wrinkles
  • The Trojans must put pressure on Rodgers....we will see much more blitzing in this game and it will come from lots of places. Arbet, Leach, Taputu and Groots will be sent on blitzes
  • Speaking of pressure, #55 will see more time at DE to put pressure on the QB in third down situations. Jeff Schweiger is likely out for the Trojans
  • On offense, I think we will see LenDale and Reggie in the game at the same time. Also, I expect to see Kirtman and Fred Davis involved in the passing game. Dom Byrd makes a return and if he is healthy, he will expose the middle of the field. We might see Herschel Dennis play a bigger role since it would be difficult to game plan against him
  • The Trojans could be in trouble if LenDale is not 100%...he simply did not have the burst against Stanford


  • This is a better Cal team than the team that beat USC last year, BUT while this USC team is not as talented as the team in the Rose Bowl last year, it is probably better than the team that played Cal last year.
  • Remember, LenDale White and Reggie Bush barely played against Cal and had not yet exploded onto the scene. Leinart threw 3 interceptions vs Cal, but has only thrown 4 more pics since Cal (13 games).
  • Cal has not played with the pressure of a top 10 ranking...USC is battle tested and Cal is not.
  • The Trojans are simply awesome at home and this will be a huge advantage
  • Turnovers and penalties will be critical in this game and I think the advantage goes to the Trojans
  • Both offenses are good and both will score...I think USC has the better defense and the better defensive coaching. This will be the difference
  • Let's hope the Trojans can grind out another tough victory in an injury free game


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