The Las Vegas Bowl has finally arrived as the USC Trojans and Fresno State Bulldogs square off for their final game of the season, previewing what will also kick off the start of next season from the confines of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Interim coach Clay Helton, who once led Memphis in the interim role during the 2006 season, will lead the Trojans into Sam Boyd Stadium searching for a 10-win season.
Their opponent, the 20th ranked Fresno State Bulldogs, were just one victory away against San Jose State from possibly securing a berth in a BCS Bowl Game this season.
This up-and-down season will all come down to one final game from Las Vegas before newest head coach Steve Sarkisian goes from simply watching practice to actually running the daily duties of the program.
In the meantime, fans will get one more opportunity to watch seniors take the field while also pondering the future around many of the draft-eligible juniors that could declare for the draft shortly after the final whistle.
UNLV turf feel like Dallas field when Emmit was still playing lol— Su'a Cravens (@_Suu_C) December 21, 2013
Game Time, TV channel: 12:30 p.m. PST, ESPN
ESPN Radio: 710 ESPN (KSPN-AM)
Odds and Wagers: Latest Odds from Bovada: USC -6.5/UCLA +6,5, O/U 65
What The Numbers Say: Inside The Numbers USC vs. Fresno State
SARK STANDING BY
Recently-announced new Trojan head coach Steve Sarkisian, who brought his 2012 Washington team to the Las Vegas Bowl, is waiting in the wings to take over after the game. For the second consecutive year, the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl will feature a matchup of teams that will open the following season by playing again.
FUN FRESNO FACT
Fresno State is the third Mountain West Conference opponent on USC's schedule in 2013, the first time Troy has ever played three current MWC teams in the same season. The Trojans won their 2013 season-opener at Hawaii, 30-13, and then defeated Utah State at home, 17-14 both games played under former head coach Lane Kiffin.
USC 21st CENTURY BOWL HISTORY
2001 Las Vegas Utah 10, USC 6
2003 Orange USC 38, Iowa 17
2004 Rose USC 28, Michigan 14
2005 Orange* USC 55, Oklahoma 19
2006 Rose* Texas 41, USC 38
2007 Rose USC 32, Michigan 18
2008 Rose USC 49, Illinois 17
2009 Rose USC 38, Penn State 24
2009 Emerald USC 24, Boston College 13
2012 Sun Georgia Tech 21, USC 14
9:00 am-12:00 pm Xbox One Tailgaming Party Sam Boyd Stadium
12:36 pm Kickoff, Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl Sam Boyd Stadium
Then Post-Game Media Conference SBS North End Zone Interview Room