Going for ten in a season of four

Saturday's Las Vegas Bowl will be a battle between two Bakersfield quarterbacks when USC takes on Fresno State. It's the Trojans' Cody Kessler versus the Bulldogs' Derek Carr.

What are they Trojans (9-4) playing for when they take the field on Saturday against No. 21 Fresno State (11-1)?

Their tenth win.

And players say that tenth win has been enough for them as motivation to prepare for Fresno State, a team one loss away from potentially playing in a BCS bowl game.

The Bulldogs are led by senior quarterback Derek Carr, who leads the NCAA in passing yards, touchdown passes, and total offense. No surprise, his passing offense is tops in the country.

Carr will be facing off against USC's Cody Kessler -- both quarterbacks from Bakersfield (Calif.). The two players have been complimentary of each other's talents leading up to the bowl game -- Carr in fact saying he looks forward to seeing Kessler one day in the NFL.

Saturday's game could be the last for many USC players. There are 32-bowl eligible underclassmen on the Trojans' roster.

Who should you keep a particular eye on before they most likely declare early? Marqise Lee, Dion Bailey, George Uko, and perhaps even Josh Shaw, Marcus Martin, Hayes Pullard, and Aundrey Walker.

If the Trojans win on Saturday, it will be their 25th ten-win season in USC football history. Perhaps most notable about the feat, is that they'll have done it under the direction of three head coaches, as their fourth continues to watch from the sidelines.

USC is expected to be without senior tailback Silas Redd, tailback Tre Madden, and tight end Randall Telfer. These players did not practice on Thursday.

Get in the discussion with other USC fans in the Fight On! SC Insiders Forum

Follow Lindsey Thiry on Twitter

USCFootball.com Top Stories