Preview: Fresno State at Southern California

When: 3:30 PM ET, Saturday, December 21, 2013
Where: Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada


ROYAL PURPLE LAS VEGAS BOWL STORYLINES

1. Fresno State had its BCS hopes dashed with a loss in its final regular-season game, but motivation shouldn’t be an issue when the Bulldogs face USC in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 21. "Any time Fresno State gets a chance to play against BCS teams like USC we get up for it and our fan base gets up for it," coach Tim DeRuyter said. The Bulldogs are led by quarterback Derek Carr, who has passed for a nation-leading 4,866 yards with 48 touchdowns and seven interceptions. 

2. USC looks to finish on a high note while playing for its third coach this season. Offensive coordinator Clay Helton will lead the Trojans in Las Vegas before new coach Steve Sarkisian takes over next season.

3. Fresno State defeated the Trojans 24-7 in the 1992 Freedom Bowl in Anaheim, Calif., and USC escaped with a thrilling 50-42 victory on Nov. 19, 2005 in Los Angeles. The teams are scheduled to open the 2014 season against each other in Los Angeles on Aug. 30.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC. LINE: USC -5.5

ABOUT FRESNO STATE (11-1, 7-1 Mountain West): The Bulldogs boast the top-ranked passing and fifth-ranked scoring offense in the country, but allowed 736 total yards in a 62-52 loss at San Jose State and have struggled mightily against the pass. USC receivers Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor should thrive against the Bulldogs’ much-maligned secondary, which could receive a boost if cornerback L.J. Jones returns after missing the last five games with a knee injury. Carr’s favorite target is star wideout Davante Adams, who has 122 catches for 1,645 yards and 23 touchdowns.

ABOUT USC (9-4, 6-3 Pac-12):
The Trojans went 6-2 with impressive wins against Arizona and Stanford under interim coach Ed Orgeron, who was replaced after a 35-14 loss to rival UCLA in the regular-season finale. The Pac-12’s second-ranked scoring defense figures to be tested by the explosive Bulldogs, and cornerback Josh Shaw’s matchup against the dynamic Adams should be worth the price of admission. The Trojans can’t match the Bulldogs’ offensive firepower, but quarterback Cody Kessler has improved after a shaky start.

PREDICTION: Fresno State 31, USC 28

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Fresno State 11-1 W1 45.3 29.1 7-0 4-1 1-0 1-0 8-1
Southern California 9-4 L1 28.5 21.3 5-2 4-2 6-4 0-0 6-3

Last Meeting

Fresno State Southern California
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/19/05 FRES 42 USC 50 427 110 317 508 308 200

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
FRES P. Pinegar 60.0 317 4 4
USC M. Leinart 66.7 200 1 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
FRES W. Mathis 23 109 4.7 1
USC R. Bush 23 294 12.8 2
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
FRES J. Fernandez 7 75 10.7 2
USC R. Bush 3 68 22.7 0
TDs Player TD
FRES J. Fernandez 2
USC R. Bush 2
Season
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
FRES D. Carr 70.1 4866 48 7
USC C. Kessler 64.5 2623 16 6
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
FRES J. Quezada 153 787 5.1 6
USC T. Madden 138 703 5.1 3
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
FRES D. Adams 122 1645 13.5 23
USC N. Agholor 51 824 16.2 4
TDs Player TD
FRES D. Adams 23
USC J. Allen 13

Quickchart Matchup

Fresno State Off vs  Southern California Def
570.6 yards
341.2 yards
4.7 yards/rush
3.9 yards/rush
7.9 yards/attempt
6 yards/attempt
Southern California Off vs  Fresno State Def
392.3 yards
425.8 yards
4.6 yards/rush
3.7 yards/rush
7.9 yards/attempt
7.7 yards/attempt

Live Game Odds

Lines History | All Odds
Currently no lines available.

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Fresno State Overall Southern California
11-1-0 W/L 9-4-0
5-7-0 ATS 6-7-0
6-6-0 O/U 4-9-0
45.3 Pts For 28.5
29.1 Pts Against 21.3
Fresno State A/H Southern California
4-1 W/L 5-2
3-2-0 ATS 4-3-0
3-2-0 O/U 1-6-0
47.6 Pts For 21.4
30.2 Pts Against 16.7