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USC May Switch Date of Opener

December 30, 2005|Gary Klein

ESPN has approached USC about moving its 2006 season opener at Arkansas to an earlier date, a USC official confirmed Thursday.

Steve Lopes, a senior associate athletic director who handles scheduling, said USC has been in discussion with the television network, "but nothing has been finalized."

USC is scheduled to play Arkansas on Sept. 9 at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville. If that game were to be moved, it might affect the Razorbacks' Sept. 2 game against Louisiana Monroe.

ESPN has talked to Arkansas about moving the USC game to a different date, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Thursday.

USC would favor moving the game not only for the television payout but for the way it would set up the Trojans for a possible run at another unbeaten regular season.

The Trojans are scheduled to play Nebraska at the Coliseum on Sept. 16. Playing Arkansas earlier would give the Trojans more time to prepare for the Cornhuskers.

In 2004 and 2005, the Trojans opened with a long trip and then had an open date before playing their home opener. Coach Pete Carroll has repeatedly cited the benefit of the formula.

USC began last season against Virginia Tech in Landover, Md., on Aug. 28 then had an open date before its home opener against Colorado State.

This season, USC traveled to Hawaii for a Sept. 3 opener, then had an open date before playing Arkansas on Sept. 17.

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