USC head football coach Steve Sarkisian, who grew up watching ESPN, will be playing host to Cal in an ESPN Thursday night college football telecast on Nov. 13 at 9 p.m. ET.
While every head coach knows the value of victory, each also understands ESPN’s Thursday college football series provides an opportunity to showcase his program to a national audience of fans and potential recruits.
Sarkisian probably is more aware of this than most. He will have a reminder tomorrow when BYU – where he was a standout quarterback from 1995-96 – plays host to Houston (9 p.m. ET, ESPN) and on Oct. 9 when BYU visits UCF (7:30 p.m.). BYU long has been identified with Thursday night football games, as the program has made 16 previous such appearances on ESPN networks.
Sarkisian was a high school baseball and football athlete when he saw ESPN’s coverage of BYU and the Cougars’ high-scoring offenses led by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Ty Detmer. In the video above, Sarkisian spoke with Front Row and reflects on the role Thursday night football had on his college choice. He also recalls a 52-52 tie between BYU and San Diego State in a 1991 ESPN game.
Video produced by Mike Humes