At least 50,000 to show up for USC game against Oregon State
What a difference a single week can make. Remember when it was announced last Monday that USC’s Sept. 25 game against Oregon State would be on a Saturday night? USC fans on social media have said they won’t attend the Los Angeles Coliseum while Clay Helton is still coaching the team. We wrote a story predicting at least 50,000 empty seats for this game if Helton was still on the sidelines.
Now the outlook for this game – purely in terms of fan participation, nothing else – is very different.
After new quarterback Jaxson Dart and new head coach Donte Williams guide USC to an exciting second-half comeback and blowout against Washington State, you’re going to see a lot more fans in the games. Coliseum seats for the Oregon State contest – probably not crowd capacity, but certainly over 50,000.
Tens of thousands of USC fans who rightly and necessarily refused to come to the Coliseum while Clay Helton dragged the program will now want to pay a ticket and support the sports department.
They will want to express their support for Dart, the quarterback who injected life, energy and hope into the USC schedule with his courageous performance on Saturday. Dart was limping on the pitch and still firing lasers for the big games, bringing USC back from a 14-point deficit. He electrified his teammates and made the day special for interim coach Donte Williams. Jaxson Dart made it fun to be a USC football fan for the first time in ages. Fans won’t be wondering this Saturday if they made the right decision to attend a match for a shipwreck program. No ambiguity will be attached to this choice this week.
USC fans will also want to support Donte Williams himself. They appreciate his recruitment and his ability to keep this team together when it could have fragmented even more. The Trojans didn’t give up when they got off to a rough 14-0 start and were hit by Washington State. As soon as Dart threw those 4th and 9th touchdowns at Gary Bryant – obviously not the biggest 4th and 9th in USC history (thanks, Matt Leinart and Dwayne Jarrett!), But still memorable – there was a feeling. that USC would figure out a way to win.
USC fans will also be coming to Saturday’s game in Oregon in decent numbers, as they appreciate Mike Bohn’s willingness to be proactive and decisive instead of procrastinating and hesitating while the schedule. burns to the ground. Leadership has been lacking at the administrative levels of USC governance. Bohn himself will make it easier for Trojan fans to pay for a seat or two at the Coliseum against the State of Oregon.
What might have been a crowd of 27,000 will likely be a crowd of over 50,000 against the State of Oregon. This is real income and a real change for an athletic department that made a big splash on Monday and will start to be rewarded for it.
Mike Bohn must obviously succeed in this managerial search, but he doesn’t have to – and probably won’t be able to – make – his ultimate decision for two and a half months.
USC fans are able to give the athletic director time and space. It’s a new reality, which Troy fans are not used to, but which they will gladly embrace after a rare weekend of wellness for the soccer program.