USC to play Fresno State in Vegas

USC (9-4, 6-3) will play Fresno State (11-) in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 21...

USC (9-4, 6-3) accepted its bid Sunday night to play in the Las Vegas Bowl against Fresno State (11-1) of the Mountain West Conference.

USC is also scheduled to open its 2014 season hosting Fresno State Aug. 30 in the Coliseum.

The Trojans will head to Las Vegas under the direction of No. 2 interim coach Clay Helton.

"We are very excited as a football team and a football staff," Helton said during a Sunday night teleconference. "You look at what has gone on this year, and how proud we are to go to the Vegas Bowl, to have the opportunity to get your tenth win, to get to double digit wins."

USC named Steve Sarkisian its head coach the Monday following the Trojans' 35-14 loss to UCLA. Interim coach Ed Orgeron resigned upon hearing of athletic director Pat Haden's hire.

Fresno State is coached by Tim DeRuyter, who has been a rumored candidate for several head coaching vacancies.

"I am psyched," DeRuyter said Sunday night on a teleconference. "I know we got our hands full against a very talented USC team, but I'm a competitor and I like to go against the best.

"I grew up wanting to be a Trojan, it didn't work out that way. You get a chance to compete against the likes of a USC with the talent that they have and their history and tradition, it's a great opportunity for Fresno State."

The Bulldogs only loss of the season came on Nov. 29 at San Jose State, 62-52.

USC will begin bowl preparations Monday Dec. 9.

The Las Vegas Bowl will be played at Sam Boyd Stadium. Kickoff is 12:30 pm PT on Dec. 21.

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