Playing four of their first six games of the season the road, the Trojans escaped the stretch 5-1, their only loss coming against Stanford.
Though their upcoming opponents only get tougher, Coach Lane Kiffin says the circumstances will provide some relief. "Five of the six in L.A. is always great," he said after practice this week. "To be in the rhythm of being in your own hotel, practicing here and not having to get on airplanes is good."
Quarterback Matt Barkley says it won't just be the players routines and bodies that get back into rhythm, but that playing at home should benefit the team mentally. "(We should be) more disciplined," he explained. "I never think that the crowd factors into me; it's not an issue. But you could probably say it did (for the team) the last couple games. Knowing that won't be an issue in home games is kind of (reassuring)."
Kiffin said this might have been the first time in his coaching career that he's seen a team scheduled the way the Trojans are, with the first half of their schedule loaded with road games and playing the second half mostly at home. "It was a very weird schedule," he said. "We made it through. It wasn't perfect, we screwed up once, but we're excited to come back to LA."
If ticket sales are any indication, the fans are happy to have them back. The team will be welcomed by 93,607 - a sold-out Coliseum. "It's good to be home, that's for sure, in front of the home crowd," Barkley said. "We're excited."