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Cody Kessler run for 12 yds to the USC 30 for a 1ST down
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Javorius Allen run for 2 yds for a TD (Andre Heidari KICK)
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Justin Davis run for 28 yds to the Neb 16 for a 1ST down
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Cody Kessler pass complete to Nelson Agholor for 13 yds to the Neb 49 for a 1ST down
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Cody Kessler pass complete to Nelson Agholor for 17 yds for a TD
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Cody Kessler pass complete to Nelson Agholor for 18 yds to the USC 46 for a 1ST down
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Tommy Armstrong Jr. pass complete to De'Mornay Pierson-El for 9 yds for a TD (Drew Brown KICK)
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Andre Heidari 42 yd FG GOOD
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1Q NEB T. Armstrong Jr. pass,to K. Bell for 18 yds for a TD, (D. Brown KICK)
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Drew Brown kickoff for 63 yds , Adoree' Jackson return for 98 yds for a TD (Andre Heidari KICK)
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Drew Brown 34 yd FG GOOD
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Kris Albarado kickoff for 64 yds , Ameer Abdullah return for 49 yds to the 50 yard line

Recruit and return: USC Trojans 

December, 27, 2014
Dec 27
9:00
AM PT
USC lost an opportunity to play for the Pac-12 title with a late-season loss to UCLA, but it has a chance to finish off the final year of NCAA-imposed sanctions with a nine-win season, which would give the Trojans a boost heading into the first signing day since 2011 in which they are able to sign a full allotment of 25 prospects.

Steve Sarkisian might be in his first year as the head coach of the Trojans but there's nothing new for him about the prospect of playing in the Holiday Bowl or facing the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Sarkisian coached the Washington Huskies in the 2010 bowl when they beat Nebraska 19-7, and this will be the sixth time he has faced the Cornhuskers as either an assistant coach or head coach.

"If I'm the Holiday Bowl, I'm pretty excited about this match-up," Sarkisian said Friday morning at a joint press conference with Nebraska interim coach Barney Cotton. "Nebraska has a lot of tradition, just like we do. When you put on that helmet for either team there is a lot of pride that overcomes you. There will also be two proud fan bases at the game in full spirit."

After finishing the regular season with a 9-3 record, the Cornhuskers will come to San Diego with a new head coach after the firing of Bo Pelini, but with elite talent such as running back Ameer Abdullah and defensive lineman Randy Gregory.

"I told our team this and I really believe it, this will be the best team we've faced this year," Sarkisian said. "When you look at all three phases of the game, they have everything you can think of to be a good football team. "

For the Trojans, the opportunity to finish the year strong after a 8-4 regular season is a prime focus for Sarkisian but it won't define where his program is going as they head into the offseason.

"We're gonna be real good next year. I want us to be real good tomorrow too but how we play in the game tomorrow doesn't dictate how we do next year. No matter what happens in the game we will get back to work on Monday to continue recruiting and planning to get our work done in the offseason. At the end of the day we're ecstatic to be here. Yesterday was Christmas Day and it was 75 degrees outside, how can you beat that?"
Some things to watch between USC and Nebraska in the National University Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego (8 p.m. ET, ESPN, Saturday).
  1. Nebraska must stop the rush: When Nebraska loses, it’s usually because it is having trouble stopping the run. In the Cornhuskers’ three losses this year, they’ve allowed an average of 350 yards on the ground. Giving up 408 yards to Melvin Gordon didn’t exactly help that average, either. But when they allow their opponent to average more than 4 yards per carry, they are 0-3. USC’s Buck Allen was third in the Pac-12 with 111.4 yards per game.
  2. Let Kessler be Kessler: USC quarterback Cody Kessler has a plus-32 touchdown-to-interception ratio this season (36-4). That's the third highest in FBS this season. And when he looks to Nelson Agholor, Kessler finds him better than three of every four tries (76.4 percent). That's the best completion percentage for a QB/WR duo among Power 5 schools. When he looks to Agholor beyond 15 yards, Kessler is 18-of-25 with five touchdowns and no interceptions.
  3. Ameer versus the world: When Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah faces seven or fewer defenders in the box, he’s averaging 7.2 yards per rush. However, when teams stack the box with eight or more defenders, that number drops drastically to 3.4 yards per carry. This presents the game-within-the-game chess match, because Abdullah has 791 yards rushing between the tackles and 731 yards when he hits the edge. USC had one of the top rush defenses in the Pac-12, allowing 3.9 yards per carry and 132.5 yards per game. The Trojans did, however, yield 18 touchdowns on the ground, which ranked in the bottom half of the conference.
  4. Who is motivated? Always a popular topic in bowl season. Despite the surprise hire of Mike Riley, Bo Pelini continued to leave chaos in his wake. Plus, interim coach Barney Cotton might already have one foot out the door on his way to joining Tony Sanchez at UNLV. USC, by all accounts, had an up-and-down season with a couple of "what if?" moments. Are they happy to be in a bowl under first-year coach Steve Sarkisian, or are key players already eyeballing the NFL combine?

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