Former USC QB calls Ohio Stadium one of 'loudest environments I've ever been in'
Matt Barkley has not forgotten the second game of his college football career.
After a home win against San Jose State to begin the 2009 season, the USC quarterback led the third-ranked Trojans to Columbus for a date with No. 8 Ohio State.
Looking back after his playing days, Barkley remembers the impression Ohio Stadium made on him and his teammates.
"Being a recruit and watching games at the (Los Angeles Coliseum), I think i was just used to sold-out crowds, like loud environments," Barkley remembered on The Victory Podcast with Keely Eure. "This is what football should be. And so I had this expectation like, 'It's going to be loud. Yeah, we know that. It's going to be hard there. They are a good team. We know that.' But I think because of the culture that coach Carroll had established where 'We're the best, we're practicing against the best every day,' we were ready for anything.
"I think that all helped immensely because when we got there, it's still one of the loudest environments I've ever been in."
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The atmosphere of Ohio State fans, Barkley said, was like a concert where "the speaker is in the front and your ears are just ringing."
"If this were the huddle right here, you'd have to nearly read my lips to hear the play call," Barkley said. "And this was even during timeouts dude. During timeout calls, they were still standing the whole time, yelling as loud as they could. It was nuts."
Trailing heading into the final minute of the game, Barkley and the Trojans were able to settle down.
Crediting plays from running back Joe McKnight and tight end Anthony McCoy on the Trojans' final 14-play, 86-yard drive that lasted over six minutes of the fourth quarter, Barkley said Stefon Johnson's touchdown run with 1:05 seconds was a moment he would never forget.
"Finally, that place went silent," Barkley said. "It was glorious. It was beautiful."
In 24 meetings dating back to 1937, USC has 13 wins against Ohio State, including a seven-game win streak between 1975-2009 with three Rose Bowl wins.
The Buckeyes have the most recent win against the Trojans, beating USC 24-7 in the 2017 Cotton Bowl Classic.