Silencing a Crowd

USC captains Nickell Robey and T.J. McDonald say they love to play in hostile environments. Last week at Utah could prove to be just a primer for the crowd expected at Washington.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- What's in a friendly environment? Not much for USC defenders Nickell Robey and T.J. McDonald.

Of course the leaders of the Trojans' secondary love playing at home in the L.A. Coliseum.

But what they really like is silencing crowds in opposing stadiums.

That's exactly what they will look to do Saturday at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, home of the Seahawk's infamous 12th man, and where they'll take on the Washington Huskies (Husky Stadium is currently under renovation).

"I know it's going to be electric," McDonald said after practice this week. "I love it in front of our home crowd, but when you go away, it's just us against the world."

"I love it. I love hostile environments, that's why I came to USC," Robey explained. "You get to play in big games and you get to show and prove to the world what you can do."

A near capacity crowd of over 60,000 is expected at CenturyLink Field despite rain in the forecast.

USC played in front of what quarterback Matt Barkley said was one of the most hostile crowds he's ever experienced just a week ago on the road at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Utah. The Trojans' quickly fell behind 14-0 just three minutes into the game before coming back to win 38-28.

The Trojans fell to the Huskies in 2009, the last time they played in Seattle. The loss, however, should almost be marked by an asterisk next to it as the Trojans played without Barkley.

The Huskies have been blown out twice on the road this season, but are 3-0 in front of their home crowd.

"You go up there, the crowd and the stadium's extremely loud that they're in," Coach Lane Kiffin said after practice this week. "And they play better at home. They've done that. Before (Coach Steve Sarkisian) got there, but especially since he's gotten there, they're like two different teams."

Robey and McDonald, both with interceptions this season, aren't concerned what the Husky quarterback Keith Price and his offense might throw at them. In fact, they are welcoming it.

"When I'm in hostile environments I step up to the plate and it's a fun thing to do," Robey said. "When you know that everyone is watching you and seeing what you are going to do."

"When you can go out there and just hush that crowd it feels real good," said McDonald.

Silencing 60,000 might be a tough task, but then again, they did make 46,037 go quiet real quick a week ago.

It's time for these Trojans to up the ante a bit.

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