For arguably the biggest game of the year, when cardinal clashes with powder blue in the classic USC-UCLA football matchup over Thanksgiving Weekend, many students will be watching from the couch instead of the stands.
Because this is the first year USC will not hold classes the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, more students said they are planning to take more time off to travel home. Conquest, generally held at the end of the school week, is being held tonight.
According to Heather Larabee, associate director for Campus Activities, the university has spent more money this year than last year to promote Conquest to make up for the fact that it is on a Monday.
“We spent more on advertising and giving away Conquest tokens and prizes, but there is not much we can do with the Pac-12 and the new schedule,” Larabee said. “We will have to make the best of it and hope students and alumni will attend.”
Elisha Jachetti, a senior majoring in theater, said she has never missed a USC home football game and used the Trojan Ticket Transfer system for the first time to help preserve the home-field advantage.
“I would absolutely love to go to the game and see us beat the Bruins,” Jachetti said. “But I’m from New Jersey and as much I hate to miss the game, family comes first.”
Many students said they plan on attending Conquest, not just to build school spirit before Saturday’s game but to watch Cobra Starship perform.
“Cobra Starship is my incentive to go,” said Hye Young Shim, a senior majoring in communication. “Cobra is a pretty mainstream band now and I’m very excited to seem them in person.”
Shim said she will travel to the East Coast for Thanksgiving break and is upset she will miss the game.
“It’s so annoying that the game is this Saturday because I really want to go,” Shim said. “But I promised my friend I’ll join her for the holiday, so I’m torn.”
USC football has struggled this season in overall attendance. Last week’s rainy game against Washington had the lowest homecoming attendance in a decade. USC is on pace this year to have the lowest average attendance per game since the 2002 season.
Despite low attendance numbers, many students believe a drop in attendance does not signify a drop in spirit.
“Our spirit right now is overflowing after that huge win against Oregon [during the] weekend,” said Andy Winningham, a senior majoring in business administration. “It doesn’t really matter when we play UCLA or how many people show up. This is our bowl game and we’re going to blow them out.”