Sunday, December 7, 2014
Nebraska has been selected to take on USC in the National University Holiday Bowl in San Diego on Saturday, Dec. 27. The matchup will take place at Qualcomm Stadium, the home of the San Diego Chargers. The game will kick off at 7 p.m. CT with ESPN providing television coverage of the matchup.
The Huskers will head to the West Coast with a 9-3 overall record, including a 5-3 mark in Big Ten Conference play. Nebraska capped the regular season with a 37-34 overtime victory at Iowa on the day after Thanksgiving. Nebraska is ranked 22nd in the USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 25 in the Associated Press Poll heading to San Diego.
Mike Riley was named Nebraska's head coach on Dec. 4, but will not coach the Huskers in the bowl game, with Interim Coach Barney Cotton leading the Huskers in San Diego.
"We look forward to the opportunity to take on USC in the Holiday Bowl, and the opportunity to finish our season with a trip to San Diego," Cotton said. "Our goal as a coaching staff is to provide a great bowl experience and put this team in position for success in the Holiday Bowl. This team has outstanding character and leadership, and we would like nothing more than to send our seniors out with a second straight bowl victory and a 10-win season." Nebraska's appearance in the Holiday Bowl will mark its fourth trip to the San Diego game, including three in the past six years. Nebraska is 1-2 in the Holiday Bowl, defeating Arizona in the 2009 game, while losing to Arizona in the 1998 Holiday Bowl and to Washington in 2010.
The trip to the Holiday Bowl is Nebraska's 51st all-time bowl appearance, the third-most bowl appearances of any school in the country. The 2014 season marks the seventh straight season with a bowl trip for Nebraska.
"We are excited to celebrate our 51st bowl appearance with a trip to San Diego for the Holiday Bowl," University of Nebraska Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst said. "The Holiday Bowl is a wonderful new partner for the Big Ten Conference, and our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans are excited to travel to the West Coast. I know they will have a wonderful experience in San Diego. The University of Southern California is an outstanding institution, has an excellent football program and will be a great matchup for our team." The matchup with USC marks the fifth all-time meeting between two of college football's most storied programs, and the first ever in a bowl game. USC holds a 3-0-1 all-time edge in the series, most recently defeating Nebraska in 2006 and 2007 in a home-and-home series. USC also defeated Nebraska in 1969, and the schools played to a tie in the 1970 season.
USC will enter the Holiday Bowl with an 8-4 overall record, including a 6-3 mark in Pac-12 Conference play. The Trojans are ranked 24th in the Associated Press Poll and the College Football Playoff rankings, and are just outside of the top 25 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Three of USC's four losses were by six or fewer points, and the Trojans are coming off a 49-14 win over Notre Dame in their regular-season finale.
Coach Steve Sarkisian is in his first season at the helm of the USC program, after running the Washington program prior to moving to Los Angeles. The 2014 Trojans feature an explosive passing offense, averaging nearly 300 yards per game to rank 15th in the nation. USC also ranks in the top 30 in total offense and scoring offense. Defensively, the Trojans are tough against the run, and also rank among the nation's leaders in turnover margin.
Tickets for the Holiday Bowl are on sale to the public now at Huskers.com. Beginning Monday morning tickets can also be purchased by calling the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office at 1-800-8-BIG RED. Fans can purchase tickets by using VISA, MasterCard or Discover.
Holiday Bowl tickets range in price from $75 to $120, and Nebraska will receive an allotment of 6,000 tickets for the game.