USC and Fresno State will meet for just the third time when they square off in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 12:30 pacific time, per Phil Steele.
By defeating the Utah State Aggies 24-17 in the inaugural Mountain West Conference title game on Saturday, the 11-1 Bulldogs clinched their spot in the bowl game.
The victory may have formally solidified the Bulldogs’ postseason plans, but Chadd Cripe reported the Bulldogs were a lock for Las Vegas regardless of the outcome of their conference championship game.
That left the 9-4 Trojans waiting for word that they would be joining the Bulldogs in Sin City.
The series is tied at 1-1 with the Trojans winning the most recent game — behind an electrifying performance by Reggie Bush in 2005, but it is the Bulldogs who hold the edge in head-to-head bowl victories, winning the 1992 Freedom Bowl
USC has a history of failing to show up for what many may consider a lower-tier bowl game; last season’s debacle in El Paso, Texas serving as a prime example.
The Bulldogs however are not your prototypical lower-tier opponent.
They boast a potent offense led by senior quarterback Derek Carr and were in the mix for a potential BCS at-large bid prior to losing to San Jose State on Nov. 29.
It will be just the second appearance in the Las Vegas Bowl for both teams.