The USC Trojans (4-1) and Cal Golden Bears (3-2) will play on Thursday night in a Pac-12 showdown. Both teams will look to capture some momentum heading into the season's second half, but the game won't be held at Cal's usual venue, Memorial Stadium.
Memorial Stadium is currently under renovation and the two teams will instead play at AT&T Park, best known as the home site of the San Francisco Giants. The venue is no new thing for these Trojans: some of them played there back in December of 2009.
The setting was the Emerald Bowl, and the Trojans faced Boston College. Matt Barkley threw for 350 yards and two touchdowns while adding on a rushing touchdown as well to lead the Trojans to a 23-13 victory. That game marked the team's last bowl game.
The memory may sting for these Trojans, who cannot make a bowl game this season, but Barkley's familiarity with the venue should prove helpful. The then-freshman quarterback posted solid numbers the last time around, and he should be even more confident on Thursday with another full year of football under his belt.
A road win in this game would set the Trojans up nicely and give them some confidence heading into match-ups with Notre Dame and No. 7 Stanford. Before they can look ahead, though, USC needs to focus on Cal, a team that is hungry for a win in the wake of back-to-back losses to Washington and No. 9 Oregon.