Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-3) at Southern Cal Trojans (8-4)
|Date & Time||Saturday December 27, 2014, 8:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Southern Cal Trojans -7 -- Over/Under: 62
The Nebraska Cornhuskers and USC Trojans play Saturday in the Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium.
The Nebraska Cornhuskers have won four of their last six games and are playing in their seventh straight bowl. Tommy Armstrong Jr. is completing 51.7 percent of his passes for 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Armstrong Jr. has five touchdowns and two picks in his last two games, and Nebraska has 26 passing plays of 25 or more yards. Kenny Bell and Jordan Westerkamp have combined for more than 1,300 receiving yards and nine touchdowns while De'Mornay Pierson-El has five receptions in his last two games. Nebraska’s ground game is averaging 5.5 yards per carry, as Ameer Abdullah leads the way with 1,523 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns. Defensively, the Nebraska Cornhuskers are allowing 24.8 points, 372.8 yards, and they’ve forced 27 sacks and 22 turnovers. Zaire Anderson leads Nebraska with 95 tackles and Maliek Collins has nine tackles for loss.
The USC Trojans have won five of their last seven and are playing in their third straight bowl game. Cody Kessler is completing 70.7 percent of his passes for 36 touchdowns and four interceptions. Kessler has seven touchdowns and one pick in his last two games, and USC has 26 passing plays of 25 or more yards. Nelson Agholor and JuJu Smith have combined for more than 1,800 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns while George Farmer has three touchdowns in his last three games. USC’s ground game is averaging 3.9 yards per carry, as Javorius Allen leads the way with 1,337 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. Defensively, the USC Trojans are allowing 23.8 points, 398.2 yards, and they’ve forced 30 sacks and 22 turnovers. Hayes Pullard leads USC with 87 tackles and Su'a Cravens has 16 tackles for loss.
The Cornhuskers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games and 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Trojans are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
USC is the more balanced team in this matchup, and Nebraska is playing without its head coach who was just fired. The line seems a little steep for my taste, but assuming the Trojans show up, they should be able to win this game by double digits and the cover the number late in the second half.