Friday, October 12, 2012
Sprinklers on at USC's Thursday practice
By Pedro Moura
USC coach Lane Kiffin is breaking out some new tactics to prepare his Trojans for the weather they're about to face in Seattle on Saturday.
There's a 60 percent chance of rain for the 4 p.m. kickoff at CenturyLink Field, so Kiffin turned on the sprinklers during USC's Thursday morning session to simulate the weather in the Pacific Northwest this weekend.
A USC spokesperson said it was the first time he'd seen the Trojans make use of their practice-field sprinklers during practice since since he started working for the school. He's been an employee since the 1970's.
The Trojans also did some more traditional weather rehearsal with water bottles, hoses and wet footballs. Kiffin downplayed it all after practice, saying his players' reactions "were good."
"We've done it before, earlier in camp," Kiffin said. "Just making sure we revisit it again so they're ready for what happens."
Speaking to reporters in Seattle this week, Washington coach Steve Sarkisian expressed some confidence in his team's ability to adjust to the likely rain at the stadium. But he also allowed for the possibility it could require some time.
"We've never played in the rain on that turf," Sarkisian told reporters. "But the surface that it is is what we practice on every day. I'd like to think it won't have that much of an impact. I think our guys have had enough experience [with the rain] that they should feel OK."
Washington is seeing the end of one of the driest stretches in state history, according to the Associated Press, with 81 days of no more than .03 inches at Sea-Tac Airport.
Historically, USC is 21-22-2 in rainy conditions, with a loss in the last game it played in the rain, in 2010 against Notre Dame.
Washington has played in many more rainy games, obviously, but statistics on the Huskies' all-time record in the rain were not available.