Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Daily Cal: Coliseum Transformed After '04 Cal Game

When the USC football team took the field against San Jose State in Pete Carroll’s first game as the Trojans’ coach in 2001, there were only 43,568 fans in attendance at the Los Angeles Coliseum.  Five years later, the same venue has become one of the most hostile environments in the Pac-10. USC (8-1, 6-1 in the conference) has averaged 91,352 fans this season, well ahead of Cal (8-2, 6-1), which is second in the Pac-10 with 62,951 fans a game.  “The fans are nuts about it,” Carroll said. “It’s a big event surrounding campus. It’s been really, really special.”  Carroll said the Trojans’ 23-17 win against the Bears in 2004 was a real turning point in the program’s history.  Then-No. 7 Cal took on No. 1 USC with Pac-10 title implications. The Bears failed to convert a first-and-goal at the nine-yard line in the final seconds, and the Trojans went on to clinch an undefeated season.

“The way the whole game turned out was really a nice matchup,” Carroll said. “Since then, the Coliseum has shifted. It’s just not the same place anymore. It’s been an incredible arena to play in.”  Although Cal is focused on USC, it still can’t help but feel like it let one get away last weekend against Arizona.

Read the entire article here.

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