Confirmed: USC To Face Fresno State in Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl

By Matthew Moreno

Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

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.

RELATED: Las Vegas Bowl travel information: host hotels, pep rallies, events and bowl ticket sales.

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 Bowl24-7.

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.