Fresno State takes on USC in an early season bowl game that features a pair of ranked teams meeting up in the Las Vegas desert. Each team has had a roller coaster season, more so Fresno State of late than USC. The Bulldogs did win their first outright conference title in over 20 years, but that counters the fact that Fresno State had a shot at a BCS bowl game but the Bulldogs were upset by San Jose State.
As for USC, they are on their third coach of the year with offensive coordinator Clay Helton taking over for Ed Orgeron who took over for Lane Kiffin. Despite the multiple coaching changes this year, USC can still win 10 games if they are able to win on Saturday.
The big matchup in this game will be how well Derek Carr and the Fresno State offense can perform against a USC defense that was second in the Pac-12 in total defense, and tops in passing defense. On the other side of the coin, Fresno State's secondary might have some issues going up against USC stud wide receiver Marqise Lee.
USC also is very likely to not have running back Silas Redd and maybe even Tre Madden. The Trojans have depth at the position but losing their top two backs will have an effect on the USC offense. However, USC might end up throwing the ball even more to Lee and that could end up being a bigger issue for Fresno State then a competent USC ground attack.
Where: Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas
Date/Time: Saturday, Dec. 21, 3:30 p.m. ET
Radio: Fresno State 940 AM ESPN Radio; USC 710 ESPN Radio; national feed Sports USA Network
Weather: Low 60s and sunny
Odds: USC is a six-point favorite
Series: 1-1-1, Nov. 19, 2005: USC 50, Fresno State 42