May 22, 2007

USC's Carroll loves playing on the big stage

PALO ALTO, Calif. - The USC vs. Nebraska game on Sept. 15 has been billed as one of the biggest non-conference match-ups of the 2007 season.

ABC has already moved the game to a 7 p.m. national TV kickoff for the second year in a row and for Southern Cal head coach Pete Carroll, he wouldn't have it any other way.

"That game and atmosphere will be as big as it gets for us," Carroll told HuskersIllustrated.com at the Palo Alto NIKE camp. "That will be a great opportunity for us to play in front of a great crowd and see a great football team from a great conference.

"That game will be really important for us to see if we can handle that. These are the type of challenges we look forward to, because we need to be able to play well in these types of settings. That will be as difficult as it gets."

Environments like Memorial Stadium are nothing new for Carroll and his Trojans. Since 2002, USC has played early season non-conference games at Arkansas, Virginia Tech (@ Washington D.C.), Auburn, Colorado and Kansas State. The Trojans only loss in that difficult string of non-conference road games was a 27-20 setback to KSU in 2002 to a Wildcat team that finished 11-2 that season.

Carroll has never been to Memorial Stadium for a game before, but he said it will probably be as difficult of an environment his team has ever faced before.

"I've been there before, but never for a game," Carroll said.

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