Wisconsin looking for its 10th win of the season when it faces USC in tonight's Holiday Bowl

BadgerNation looks at the matchup between Wisconsin and USC at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium Wednesday night.

No.23 Wisconsin (9-3, 6-2 Big Ten) vs. USC (8-5, 6-3 Pac 12)

Date/Time - Wednesday, December 30 at 9:30 p.m. CT

Stadium – Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego (71,294/Grass)

Television – ESPN (Adam Amin, Kelly Stouffer, Olivia Harlan)

Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas)

Series – USC leads 6-0 (USC leads 2-0 in neutral sites)

Last Meeting - USC won, 38-3, on September 24, 1966 in Los Angeles

Series Notes

The teams’ first six meetings came in the span of just 15 years (1952-1966). The seventh will come after a 49-year break.

The Badgers and Trojans have twice met in bowl games, facing off in the Rose Bowl following the 1952 and 1962 seasons. The 1963 Rose Bowl is best remembered for the remarkable comeback that saw the Badgers score 23 unanswered points in the fourth quarter — capped by a touchdown pass from Ron Vander Kelen to Pat Richter with 1:19 left — before falling short of USC, 42-37. Both Vander Kelen, who was named co-MVP of the game, and Richter were later inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame. The 1963 Rose Bowl was the first bowl game to pit the nation’s No. 1- and No. 2-ranked teams.

This year’s Holiday Bowl marks just the second time UW will face an unranked (in the AP poll) USC team, with the only previous instance coming in 1965 in Madison. It’s also the first meeting in which a ranked UW squad will take on an unranked Trojans team.

At 107-38 (.738), Wisconsin is one of just 13 Power Five programs to win 100 games since the start of the 2005 season and ranks No. 8 in terms of winning percentage. USC (107-36, .748) ranks No. 7.

Wisconsin wide receivers coach Ted Gilmore held the same post at USC in 2011 under head coach Lane Kiffin. In his second season on the USC staff in 2011 was current Trojans head coach Clay Helton, who served as quarterbacks coach.

Since the AP poll began in 1936, this will be the 12th time that USC has entered a bowl game unranked.

USC is 5-6 unranked in bowls, including 2-3 against ranked opponents.

USC is 74-27-3 (.726) against current Big Ten opponents. USC has won its last 13 games against Big Ten foes, as well as 34 of its last 42 games (and 41 of its last 50). USC is 19-9 against the Big Ten in bowls and has won the last 8 bowl meetings.

Wisconsin is 22-34-2 (.397) against current Pac 12 opponents. UW has lost its last four against the conference. The Badgers are 6-5 against the Pac 12 in bowls.

Wisconsin Notes to Consider

Since giving up 35 points to Alabama in their season opener, the Badgers have surrendered an average of just 11.1 points per contest.

With 924 yards so far, senior WR Alex Erickson needs 76 receiving yards to become the fourth player in school history to record a 1,000-yard season. Erickson also needs six catches to tie UW’s single-season record for receptions (78).

Wisconsin has allowed opponents 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. Alabama ranks No. 2 in the FBS, with 24 opponent red zone trips allowed.

Opponents have been successful on just 54 of 175 third-down attempts this season, giving the Badgers’ defense a third-down conversion percentage of 30.9 percent that ranks No. 10 nationally. That number would rank No. 4 all-time at UW, with three of the Badgers’ top four all-time marks coming in the last three seasons under Dave Aranda’s direction.

Wisconsin has averaged 32.5 passing attempts through its first 12 games, the highest average in program history. Only twice in the modern era (since 1946) have the Badgers averaged more than 30 passes per game (1983 and 1995).

USC Notes to Consider

USC is 68-41-11 (.613) in all season finales (not including 1 win and 1 loss vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 69- 42-11, .611.)

USC has used 26 true and redshirt freshmen this year, tied for seventh most in the nation. Also, 34 players regardless of class have seen their first USC action in 2015 (tied for seventh most in the nation).

The average time of the Trojans’ 66 offensive scoring drives this season is 2:56, while the average length of those drives is 65.9 yards.

Adoree’ Jackson is the only player in the country with 300 yards receiving, 600 yards in kick runbacks, 200 punt return yards and 30 tackles.

Worgull's Predictions

Straight up: 9-3

Against the Spread: 6-6


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