Metallic helmets, chrome facemasks give USC a new ‘freshness’

Sarkisian: 'We're trying to be respectful of our past and our tradition and all of that but also give us a little bit of freshness.'

The Cardinal and Gold of USC football has always been just that — Cardinal and Gold.

No alternate colors. No alternate uniforms. Just the tradition-rich colors each and every Saturday.

In an era in which alternate uniforms are the way to go and school colors, at times, take a back seat to whatever combinations look cool, USC has shunned the trend and held onto its tradition.

Alternate uniforms can often be a huge coup in recruiting and parallels the spread offense in what we know today to be modern college football.

On the field the team has gotten a little more modern with head coach Steve Sarkisian’s no-huddle and, at times, uptempo attack.

The uniforms, by USC’s standards, will be slightly more modern as well when the Trojans take the field for Homecoming Saturday against Colorado.

The school’s athletic department unveiled a new, metallic helmet with a chrome facemask Wednesday. On Thursday, the players wore them to practice.

It’s not a huge change but it’s a change that isn’t easy to make at USC where the fan base and alums are set on keeping with the tradition of the school’s classic look.

"You’re not going to please everybody," Sarkisian said. "For as many people as there are that want us not to change a thing and still wear the same cleats and whatever else there’s as many people that want us to wear something new too and they see what’s going on in our conference and two of our biggest rivals are doing it.

"We’re trying to be respectful of our past and our tradition and all of that but also give us a little bit of freshness."

Sarkisian says the new helmets are a hit with the players, who "really like" them. 

Asked if he was a fan of the new lids, Sarkisian says he’s on board, too. 

"I think they’re really cool," he said. "We’ll see how they look Saturday. I’m going to like them a lot more if we win."