Top-ranked USC does not play ninth-ranked Notre Dame until today, but the gamesmanship began Friday when the Trojans trod through thick, ankle-deep grass during their walk-through at Notre Dame Stadium.
“Nice,” middle linebacker Oscar Lua said of the nearly four-inch turf. “It looks like my front yard.”
Coach Pete Carroll characterized the field’s condition as “a sign of respect” for his speedy team, which is riding a 27-game winning streak that includes a 45-14 victory here in 2003.
“This is a nice reception,” Carroll said, adding that his team embraced the field conditions in much the same way the Trojans reveled in bad weather last season at Washington State.
Asked if Notre Dame had intentionally let the grass grow to slow the Trojans, Doug Walker, associate sports information director, did not flinch. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.