Autzen Stadium fits only 50,000 people, but it’s consistently been known to be the loudest in the Pac-10.
And when USC visits Oregon Saturday — on Halloween night, nonetheless — it will be loud.
“It really is a great crowd,” USC coach Pete Carroll said at his Tuesday press conference. “They are very outspoken and all that, and, of course, they do a great job of orchestrating the game environment.”
And therein lies the challenge the Trojans will face Saturday. They must take on both No. 10 Oregon and the fans in attendance at Autzen Stadium.
“It’s just going to be a matter of going into Autzen and drowning the crowd out and executing,” redshirt sophomore linebacker Chris Galippo said after practice Tuesday.
USC has had three road games this season in what are commonly deemed tough places to play because of noise: Ohio Stadium, Husky Stadium and Notre Dame Stadium.
Of course, one of those matchups didn’t end so well for the Trojans — the 16-13 loss to Washington in September.
Still, the experience is a positive, the team said.
“It definitely helps, just with knowing which type of crowds you’re gonna face and the crowd noise, and the atmosphere and the energy,” freshman quarterback Matt Barkley said. “You know what to expect, but I don’t think I need any preparation to know what we’re gonna face.
“We’re just going to focus on ourselves and what we do and I think that should be good enough to win.”
Missing from practice Tuesday because of injury were five of Barkley’s key offensive targets: junior receivers David Ausberry and Damian Williams, junior fullback Stanley Havili, senior tight end Anthony McCoy and redshirt freshman receiver Brice Butler.
None of the injuries are believed to be serious, but together, the five represent more than 70 percent of USC receptions up to this point.
Both Carroll and offensive coordinator John Morton said they are not worried.
“We’ve got guys ready to play,” Carroll said. “As always, it’s about the guys who will step up for us, not the guys who are out.”
Havili and Ausberry missed the Oregon State game. Havili, who dislocated his shoulder late in the Notre Dame game, but returned to play in the fourth quarter, has practiced briefly this week.
Ausberry underwent an MRI on his strained calf and wasn’t present at Howard Jones Field Tuesday. There is no prognosis yet for his return.
McCoy is still considered day-to-day with a boot on his sprained ankle.
“It’s a big deal to lose Anthony,” Carroll said. “He’s been a big factor in these games, and hopefully he’ll be able to make it. We won’t know until the end of the week.”
Williams sat out with a bruised gluteus maximus and Butler with a sore back. Both are expected to return to the practice field Wednesday.