Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl
WHO: #20 Fresno State Bulldogs (11-1, Mountain West champions) vs. USC Trojans (9-4, 3rd in Pac-12 South)
WHEN: December 21, 2013, 12:30 PM PST
WHERE: Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, NV (capacity: 36,800)
LAST YEAR: The Boise State Broncos defeated the Washington Huskies 28-26 on December 22, 2012.
The Trojans of Southern California have accepted a bid to the Las Vegas Bowl, which had already been speculated upon but is now official. This marks the third matchup between the two schools, and the first two hold a great deal of lore: Fresno's upset in the 1992 Freedom Bowl is one of the defining wins in school history, while the Trojans held off the 'Dogs in one of 2005's most memorable games.
This edition is not lacking for its own narrative, though. USC hired Steve Sarkisian as its new head coach after a tumultuous season under Lane Kiffin and Ed Orgeron, but offensive coordinator Clay Helton will be the interim coach for the game. Tim DeRuyter's name has been bandied about the rumor circuit, but Fresno will be flying high after clinching the outright MWC title.
It will be anyone's guess as to how interested the Trojans will be in this bowl, but it might be that the team will be motivated to erase memories of its forgettable Sun Bowl loss to Georgia Tech last year. They may also want to give Fresno State something to think about in the offseason because the two teams will face one another again in the opening weekend of the 2014 season.
Fans interested in tickets for the Las Vegas Bowl can visit GoBulldogs.com.