Sunday, December 28, 2014

#USCvsNEB — 'Too Close for Comfort': USC Nearly Blows 18-Point Lead to Nebraska in Holiday Bowl

Exciting game. I could definitely do without that ending, though.

From Bill Plaschke, at LAT, "USC gets Holiday Bowl win that's too close for comfort":

It wasn't over until Nelson Agholor knocked down a Hail Mary pass.

On Saturday night in the Holiday Bowl against Nebraska, USC once again made it far too interesting.

As was the case in numerous other games this season, the Trojans were in position to put away an opponent and appeared as if they would not get it done.

But after an 18-point USC lead late in the third quarter had shrunk to three, Agholor batted away the last-second Hail Mary to preserve the Trojans' 45-42 victory at Qualcomm Stadium.

USC finished 9-4 in Steve Sarkisian's first season as head coach.

“We always try to make it exciting,” Sarkisian said, laughing. “We make it entertaining for everybody.”

USC fans might question the entertainment value, especially with memories of a loss to Arizona State on a Hail Mary still fresh nearly three months later.

“That wasn't new to us,” USC senior safety Gerald Bowman said, referring to the Trojans' penchant for late-game dramatics this season, in both wins and losses.

Quarterback Cody Kessler passed for three touchdowns, tailback Javorius Allen rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns and the Trojans overcame undisciplined play to hold off the Cornhuskers.

Kessler, who said he would return for his final season of eligibility, completed 23 of 39 passes for 321 yards, with one interception. He was named offensive player of the game.

Sarkisian had said before the game that the outcome would not “say who we're going to be next fall.”

But this much is clear: The Trojans need to find ways to close games better...
Keep reading.

Plus, "USC edges Nebraska in knockdown, drag-out, Hail-scary Holiday Bowl."