The National University Holiday Bowl, which will be played on December 27th at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California, will pit the USC Trojans (8-4), who finished 24th in the last AP Poll, against the Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-3). While USC’s offense normally receives most of the attention from the national media, defensive lineman Leonard Williams figures to be a top pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Williams is an absolute mauler that will get to face an NFL-caliber running back in Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah. USC enters this bowl game after winning three of its last four games. Quarterback Cody Kessler has bounced back after some early season struggles to post a ridiculous 36-to-4 TD:INT ratio. Kessler does benefit from throwing to wide receiver Nelson Agholor. Agholor has been one of College Football’s best wide receivers, securing 1,223 yards and 11 touchdowns on 98 catches. Running back Buck Allen has kept opposing defenses honest by averaging 5.3 yards per carry. This game will be played within a few hours of USC’s campus, so fans are paying a premium for this match-up.
According to TiqIQ, the average ticket price for USC vs. Nebraska is currently $199.26 on the secondary market while the get-in price for the game is $100. The game has the most expensive Holiday Bowl tickets on TiqIQ over the past five seasons, 24% above the second most expensive game.
After two relatively unsuccessful seasons in the Big 10 Conference, Nebraska opted to fire head coach Bo Pelini. Interim coach Barney Cotton will lead Nebraska in this bowl game. Nebraska’s new head coach, Mike Riley, will take over after the Holiday Bowl. USC’s run defense has been excellent, but the Trojans have not a face running back as good as Abdullah. Abdullah is averaging an astonishing 6.4 yards per carry and has rushed for 18 touchdowns. Wide receiver Kenny Bell leads the way with 717 yards and five touchdowns as Abdullah has helped open up passing lanes.
While fans expect to pay above average ticket prices to attend the National University Holiday Bowl, Nebraska is looking to win its tenth game while USC will look for a ‘local’ victory over a proud program. These two teams have not played since 2006 when USC defeated Nebraska 28-10 in Los Angeles.