Nebraska has announced that the Huskers have been selected to play Southern Cal in the National University Holiday Bowl against Southern Cal.
The game is on Saturday, December 27 and kicks off at 7 pm central time, televised by ESPN. It's part of a ESPN tripleheader with the Military Bowl (Cincinatti vs. Virginia Tech) at noon and the Pinstripe Bowl (Boston College vs. Penn State) at 3:30 pm.
Southern Cal went 8-4 this season, with losses at Boston College (37-31), vs. Arizona State (38-34), at Utah (24-21), and at UCLA (38-20). Both Nebraska and the Trojans played Fresno State in September, with Southern Cal winning 52-13 at home and the Huskers winning 55-19 two weeks later in Fresno.
The Trojans are led by junior quarterback Cody Kessler, who's completed over 70% of his passes for 3,505 yards and 36 touchdowns. Kessler has only thrown four interceptions this season, and he's not a threat to run, as he's lost 149 yards this season on the ground. Junior running back Javorius Allen (6'1" 210 pounds) has rushed for 1,337 yards and nine touchdowns this season. He's also caught 40 passes for 442 yards and a touchdown. Kessler's favorite receiver is 6'1" 190 pound junior Nelson Agholor, who's caught 97 passes for 1,223 yards and eleven touchdowns this season.
Southern Cal ranks 66th in the nation in total defense, giving up 398 yards a game, and 37th in scoring defense, giving up 23.8 points per game. The Trojans are best at stopping the run, ranking 27th in rush defense at 132.5 yards per game. You can throw on the Trojans, as they rank 107th by giving up 265.7 yards per game. That makes them the worst pass defense statistically that Nebraska faces in 2014.
Nebraska has never defeated Southern Cal, as the Trojans have a 3-0-1 lifetime record against the Huskers. The Huskers lost 28-10 in 2006 in Los Angeles and lost 49-31 in 2007 in Lincoln. That 2007 game was nowhere near as close as the score indicated, and signaled the end of the Bill Callahan error at Nebraska. This matchup will conclude the Bo Pelini era at Nebraska. Interestingly enough, Mike Riley was twice pursued by Southern Cal to be their head coach.
You'll find more about the Trojans over the coming weeks both here at CornNation as well as at Conquest Chronicles, our USC sister site.