Eggnog bath awaits either No. 16 Louisville's Brohm or USC's Riley in Holiday Bowl

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Wednesday, December 27, 2023

DirecTV Holiday Bowl: Southern California (7-5) vs. No. 16 Louisville (10-3), Dec. 27, 8 p.m. Eastern (Fox)

: Louisville by 7

Series record: first meeting.


Either Louisville's Jeff Brohm or USC's Lincoln Riley will be getting an eggnog bath - nog on the noggin - instead of a Gatorade shower as the winning coach of the game at Petco Park. Riley would no doubt welcome that after a disappointing season that began with national title hopes. Southern Cal will play its final game as a member of the Pac-12 Conference before moving to the Big Ten next season. USC quarterback Caleb Williams, the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner, has opted out, one of many players from both schools who will miss the game due to opting out or entering the transfer portal. Williams is expected to be the first overall pick in next spring's NFL draft. The No. 16 Cardinals are coming off a 16-6 loss to Florida State in their first ACC championship game and are looking for just their sixth 11-win season. They are in their first season under Brohm, a Cardinals alum. Jawha Jordan, a 1,000-yard rusher, and leading receiver Jamari Thrash have both declared for the NFL draft.


Louisville's defense against USC redshirt sophomore quarterback Miller Moss. Moss will replace Williams and make his first college start, against a Cardinals defense that ranks 20th in the country and allows just 19.7 points per game.


USC: Moss has played in 11 games during the past three seasons, going 43 of 59 for 542 yards and three touchdowns, with no interceptions. His longest pass is a 71-yard TD pass to Duce Robinson against Nevada this season.

Louisville: QB Jack Plummer is a graduate senior who will be making his 39th career start. In his first year with Louisville, he completed 235 of 370 passes for 3,063 yards and 21 touchdowns, with 12 interceptions. He also played at Cal and Purdue.


Other Trojans who have opted out are leading rusher MarShawn Lloyd and Brendan Rice, who led USC with 12 touchdown catches. ... USC has lost three straight games and five of six, while the Cardinals have lost two straight. ... USC is making its fourth Holiday Bowl appearance, all coming in the past 10 years. The Trojans are 1-2 in their previous Holiday Bowls and have lost their last three bowl games. ... Louisville is making its first Holiday Bowl appearance and is in the postseason for the third straight year. It has won two of its last three bowl games. ... Brohm was the third-string quarterback with the San Diego Chargers in 1994 when they made their only Super Bowl appearance. He didn't play a down all season.


AP college football: and

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