Viva Las Vegas! LSU officially announces it will play USC in the 2024 season opener in Sin City

LSU rarely plays Pac-12 Conference football teams. So why not take on two in one month?

It was officially announced Thursday that the Tigers will open their 2024 season Labor Day weekend taking on USC in the Vegas Kickoff Classic at Allegiant Stadium in 2024. The neutral-site game will air on ABC or ESPN. Date and time will be determined at a later date, but will likely be on Sunday Sept. 1.

Then on Sept. 21 in Tiger Stadium, LSU plays UCLA in the return game of home-and-home series which starts with next Saturday’s 2021 season opener vs. the Bruins in Rose Bowl Stadium. UCLA was originally scheduled to be the 2024 season opener, but agreed to play three weeks later in order for LSU and USC to matchup.

“We’ve been working on this about two years, there were a lot moving pieces in this puzzle to make this work,” said Verge Ausberry, LSU’s executive deputy athletic director who handles the football scheduling. “We were told about the new stadium in Vegas and were asked if we would willing to be play a game in Vegas. We wanted to play the right team and we thought USC was the right team at the right time.

“Our fans want these type of games. At LSU, we expect to play these type of games. We’re very happy to get this (USC) game on the books.”

This will be LSU’s first game in the state of Nevada and the 25th state (including Louisiana) in which the Tigers have played a football game.

“The opportunity to bring our team and the best fans in college football to Las Vegas is incredibly exciting,” said LSU Athletics Director Scott Woodward. “We cannot wait to compete on the field and fill Allegiant Stadium with Tiger fans from across the country.”

It’s third LSU-USC football meetingl. Southern Cal won the first meeting between the teams in what is considered one of the greatest games ever played in Tiger Stadium by a 17-12 count in 1979. LSU won the rematch in the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1984 by a 23-3 margin, which was the last time the Tigers played in California.

The 2024 meeting should have a bit of spice. Current LSU coach Ed Orgeron took over as USC’s interim coach in 2013 when head coach Lane Kiffin was fired after the first five games. Orgeron was 6-2 as interim, but was not hired by then-athletic Pat Haden because he and other USC administrators viewed Orgeron deep voice and Cajun accent as not polished enough for USC boosters.

“We are excited to announce this historic matchup that is sure to attract the sports world’s attention,” said John Saccenti, Vegas Kickoff Classic and SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl executive director. “Las Vegas is known for its big events and the Trojans vs. the Tigers kicking off the 2024 college football season at Allegiant Stadium may be the biggest game the state of Nevada has ever seen.”

Tickets for the game can be purchased by visiting www.lvbowl.com.

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