Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. USC Trojans
Saturday – December 27 – 7:00 pm
Qualcomm Stadium – San Diego
Despite the chance to get to 10 wins with a bowl victory, the Cornhuskers come into San Diego without their head coach. Bo Pelini’s surprise firing was followed by the surprise hiring of Oregon State’s Mike Riley, but Pelini’s staff (minus the man himself, of course) will be coaching Nebraska one final time.
Maybe Nebraska did what it had to do in firing Pelini. But that didn’t make it any easier for the players—a group that should be intent on making a statement at the end of a bizarre era. Nebraska’s high powered offense is lead by RB Ameer Abdullah who’s responsible for 48 percent of Nebraska’s offense. On the other side of the ball pay attention to Cameron Jakob #39 and Sedrick King #17 who controls the defense. Bottom line the defense out shines the offense hands down! This will be a pleasure to watch despite the firing of Coach Pelini that leaves an overcast on this game.
#24 University of Southern California
The Trojans are 8-4 overall and finished tied for second in the Pac-12 South Division at 6-3 under first-year head coach Steve Sarkisian. USC, whose first three losses of 2014 were by a total of 13 points, including two that came on the opponents’ last play of the game, features an up-tempo offense that is highly ranked nationally in a number of passing categories and a strong defense that is in the national Top 25 in red zone defense, turnover margin and third down conversion defense.
QB Cody Kessler, a finalist for the Unitas Golden Arm Award and Manning Award, is among the nation’s leaders in passing efficiency, completion percentage, TD passes, completions and passing yards while hitting over 70% of his throws with 36 TDs and just four interceptions. All-Pac-12 first team TB Javorius Allen, a 1,000-yard runner who has eight 100-yard rushing outings this year, leads the league in all-purpose yards and is the only player in the nation with 12 games of 100-plus yards from scrimmage. WR Nelson Agholor, also an All-Pac-12 first teamer, is on the verge of 100 catches this year while ranking in the national Top 11 in receptions, receiving yards and receiving TDs and he also has a school-record four career scoring punt returns.
Prediction: Nebraska behind the running of RB Ameer Abdullah will give the Trojans big problems all game long. It’s going to be closer than anyone would predict. Cornhuskers 28 – Trojans 21