In the College Football Playoff rankings, the USC Trojans is ranked 24th in the country. Nebraska, the Trojans’ opponent in the National University Holiday Bowl, is ranked #25 in the AP latest poll. What gives in this intriguing matchup between Pac-12 Conference and Big Ten Conference powers? Talent and skill, and who’s able to move the chains. This could be one of the best contested matchups of all of the bowl games as USC (8-4) and Nebraska (9-3) both have offenses that can put points on the scoreboard.
The two-headed offensive monster for Nebraska that comes by way of quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. and running back Ameer Abdullah, will be a stiff challenge for the Trojans. Armstrong can light it up with his arm (2, 314 yards passing, 19 TDs, 664 yards rushing, 5 TDs) and with his legs, while Abdullah, regarded as one of the best runners in the country (1, 523 yards, 18 TDs), is a strong and powerful force for the USC defense to contend with. With that said, USC has some studs on both sides of the ball of their own that match up pretty well with the Cornhuskers. There are 5 players wearing the Gold and Burgandy that will have an impact on this contest, offensively and defensively.
Quarterback Cody Kessler leads the Trojans’ talent cast. Kessler has produced a 3, 505 yards, 36 touchdown season for USC, including delivering games with six and seven touchdowns. Running back Javorius “Buck” Allen has been the force on the ground for the Trojans this season, rumbling for 1, 337 yards an 9 TDs. Perhaps the biggest impact player on the Trojans’ sidelines is wide receiver Nelson Agholor (97 catches, 1 223 yards, 11 TDs), who seemed to wreck havoc against opponents all year. Nebraska defensive backs are going to have their hands full in this one.
Defensive end Leonard Williams, expected to be one of the top players in the 2015 NFL Draft might have some say as having an impact on the game. Williams is a dominant force that could shut down Nebraska’s top-flight running game. The other USC player that could make a difference in the contest is true freshman Adoree Jackson, already one of the top shutdown cornerbacks around.