USC football fans did a decent job showing up to the Coliseum on Saturday for Lincoln Riley's first game with the Trojans given the circumstances. There's a massive heat wave going over Los Angeles right now, and a major excessive heat warning was in effect over the weekend to go along with it.
To get 60, 113 fans in the seats wasn't bad. To put it in perspective, in the other stadium dealing with the heat wave--UCLA's Rose Bowl--there were only an embarrassing 27,143 fans in the stands. That being said, 60,113 isn't necessarily ideal, and the goal for USC should ALWAYS be selling out. And that will most certainly be happening if the Trojans get back to competing for national championships.
The fans were fed up last year, however, for waiting 11 years for USC to finally start making competent decisions and show that they care about the football program to the fullest extent that the fans deserve.
They stopped coming to games in anywhere remotely close to the same numbers they used to. To have a decent showing (given the context with the heat) on Saturday was nice, but USC wants something more. They always will, and Riley himself made it clear that it's on the top of his priority list, when speaking to the media after the game:
Lincoln Riley wants to add another 18,354 USC football fans on Saturdays.
Lincoln Riley is clearly not willing to settle for just over 60,000 fans at USC football games. Not wanting anybody to even fathom the idea of not coming to a USC game, he clearly has championships on his mind. Think about how much excitement there was around USC football this past offseason without even playing a game. That was not local hype, but national hype.
All Riley needs to do is compete nationally, and he won't be let down by attendance numbers at all. He's most certainly on his way to doing that within the next couple of years, as he's already proven he has elite roster-building capabilities in bringing USC from outside the top 100 in recruiting for 2022 to inside the top six despite signing with USC right before early signing day.
He also has proven that he can develop talent back when he was at Oklahoma from 2017 to 2021--developing two transfers into Heisman winners and No. 1 overall NFL Draft picks. He's never finished outside the top 10 of the final AP Top 25 Poll before. It's safe to say that he can bring USC back.