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Stories

Sports news with a Vegas perspective.

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National University Holiday Bowl USC Trojans vs Nebraska Cornhuskers Start Time, Odds, Free Pick

The USC Trojans take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers tonight in the National University Holiday Bowl. The game is scheduled for an 8 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on ESPN. Currently the odds for the game have the Trojans favored by a comfortable margin in this one.

USC is the sexy pic in many of the bowl pools this time of year. Nebraska fired Bo Pelini after winning nine games (again) and are replacing him with former Oregon State head coach Mike Riley, who won’t coach in this bowl game. Riley is certainly going to have a lot of pressure on him, especially after Pelini won as much as he did in Lincoln but was still shown the door.

USC has a ton of talent, but not a lot of depth, which hurt them this season. The Trojans suffered four losses on the season with three of them coming by a combined 13 points to Boston College, Arizona State and Utah. Quarterback Cody Kessler had an amazing season but isn’t garnering a ton of attention, throwing 36 TDs and better than 3,500 yards, leading USC to an average of 35 points per game.

The Trojans have all kinds of weapons on the field with tailback Buck Allen leading the way, having run for 1,300 yards and nine scores. Nelson Agholor at receiver caught 97 passes for 1,200 yards and 11 touchdowns himself, providing Kessler with an All-American weapon on the perimeter.

Good luck to Nebraska trying to slow them down. The Huskers were pretty good defensively this year, only giving up an average of 25 points in the weak Big Ten. Problem was, the Huskers were beaten by the three teams better than they are in Michigan State, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Trojans are obviously better than Nebraska, but will the Huskers have the same results as the previous three games?

Handing the football off to Ameer Abdullah seems like a solid gameplan, but the USC front could slow that down. Abdullah had 18 touchdowns and better than 1,500 yards on the ground this year, but having a dual-threat quarterback in Tommy Armstrong Jr. also helps get him going. Armstrong has combined for nearly 3,000 yards of offense and 24 scores this year.

Defense will obviously be important, but the defense that spends the most amount of time on the field will be in trouble. USC has the quick-strike, loaded with talent offense and they’re going to pick up a big win here.

Free Pick: USC 44, Nebraska 24

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