Eggnog Pigeons await No. 16 Louisville's Brohm or USC's Riley in the Holiday Bowl

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

: Louisville by 7

Series Log: First Encounter.

What's at stake?

Either Louisville's Jeff Brohm or USC's Lincoln Riley will get an eggnog bath — instead of a Gatorade shower — as the game-winning coach at Petco Park. No doubt Riley would welcome that after a disappointing season that started 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 several players from both schools who will miss the game due to opting out or entering the transfer portal. Williams is projected to be the No. 1 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 Tournament game and are looking for their sixth 11-win season. They are in their first season under Brohm, a Cardinals alum. Jawa Jordan, a 1,000-yard rusher and leading receiver Jamari Thrash They both declared for the NFL draft.

Main match

Louisville's defense against USC's 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.

Players worth watching

USC: Moss has played in 11 games over 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 Dussie Robinson Against Nevada this season.

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Louisville: QB Jack Plummer He is a graduating senior who will begin his 39th career. 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.

facts & Numbers

Other Trojans that opted out are leading the rush 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 in a row. … USC is making its fourth Holiday Bowl appearance, all coming in the past 10 years. The Trojans have gone 1-2 in the 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. He has won two of his last three bowl games. … Brohm was the third-string quarterback with the San Diego Chargers in 1994 when they made only one Super Bowl appearance. He hasn't played a lower role all season.

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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll And https://apnews.com/hub/college-football

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