Holiday Bowl Preview – Wisconsin Badgers vs. USC Trojans

Holiday Bowl Preview – Wisconsin Badgers vs. USC Trojans

Holiday Bowl

DEC. 30, 2015

10:30 pm EST ESPN

Holiday Bowl Preview – Wisconsin Badgers vs. USC Trojans San Diego, Calif.

Qualcomm Stadium

23 WISCONSIN (9-3, 6-2 BIG TEN)

2015 GAME LOG (9–3 SU, 5–7 ATS, 5–7 OVER–UNDER)

USC (8-5, 6-3 PAC-12)

2015 GAME LOG (8–5 SU, 6–7 ATS, 7–6 OVER–UNDER)


Rankings (AP/Coaches/CFP)  – 23/23/NR

Record (Big Ten) – 9-3 (6-2)

Head Coach  – Paul Chryst

Record at Wisconsin (Years) – 9-3 (1st)


Rankings (AP/Coaches/CFP)  – RV/RV/25

Record (Pac-12)  – 8-5 (6-3)

Head Coach  – Clay Helton

Record at USC (Years) – 6-3 (1st)

When you think of the Wisconsin Badgers’ offense, you usually think off a run first and pass second offense; right? Well, this year’s Wisconsin offense is the reverse headed by the Badgers Senior helmsman Joel Stave who owns a record of 30-10 as a starter at Wisconsin. Stave’s .750 career win percentage is the fourth-best mark among active FBS quarterbacks (minimum 25 starts). Stave’s favorite target Wisconsin’s leading receiver (WR Alex Erickson, 924 yards) has accumulated more yardage than its leading rusher (RB Dare Ogunbowale, 769). The Badgers have seen their leading receiver outgain their leading rusher in a season just 12 times in the modern era.

Defensively, the Wisconsin Badgers have allowed the opposition to reach the red zone just 22 times in 12 games, ranking the Badgers No. 1 nationally in terms of fewest opponent red-zone chances. The Wisconsin Badgers have allowed just 25 runs of 10-plus yards, the lowest total of any FBS defense. Alabama (29), Nebraska (35), San Diego State (36) and Akron (37) round out the top five in the FBS.

The USC Trojan passer senior Cody Kessler has completed 280-of-414 passing for 67.6%, 3,315 yards, 28 touchdowns along with 6 picks this season, plus 4 rushing touchdowns. The other playmaker is sophomore JuJu Smith-Schuster who has the team-best 85 rec, team-best 1,389 yards, 16.3 averaging, 10 TD in 2015, plus 4 KOR, 51 yds, 12.8 averaging. This youngster has blazing speed! The ground game averages 176 yards per matchup but faces a Wisconsin run defense that only gives up 98 yards a contest.

USC’s defense has been very generous this season allowing 400 total yards but 253 passing yards which plays right into Wisconsin’s scheme of things.



Selection: Wisconsin +3.5