Dec 7, 2013; Fresno, CA, USA; Fresno State Bulldogs quarterback Derek Carr (4) acknowledges fans on stage after the Bulldogs defeated the Utah State Aggies 24-17 at Bulldog Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl: game preview, odds and prediction


In Sin City on Saturday, the 11-1 Mountain West Champion Fresno State Bulldogs will take on the 9-4 USC Trojans in this year’s edition of the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl.

With the way the season started in Los Angeles, not may thought that the Trojans would see postseason play this year. However, the team went on a run after canning Lane Kiffin following a lopsided loss to Arizona State under interim coach Ed Orgeron. As the weeks went on, the team showed flashes of what everyone thought they’d be coming into the season, and they proved that with an upset win over Stanford late in the season.

It may sound crazy, but of the two teams on the field today, Fresno State is the one that feels it’s getting the consolation prize by playing in this one. Beginning the year on an undefeated run, the Bulldogs found themselves climbing the BCS rankings, and were eyeing the possibility of being this year’s BCS buster. But, a late-season loss to San Jose State ended those hopes, and now they’ll look to end their season on a high note against their Pac-12 foe.

Date: Dec. 21

Start Time: 3:30 PM ET

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Stadium: Sam Boyd Stadium

TV Info: ABC

Live Stream: WatchESPN app

Odds: USC -6

Prediction: The big question here is can the USC defense stop Derek Carr and the Bulldogs’ offense? Fresno State is averaging 45.3 points per game, while the Trojans are giving up just 21.3. It’s been the USC defense that’s carried them on their run to end the season, and they should get more of the same from that unit today, and be able to keep Carr and company in check just enough to come away with the win.

USC 28, Fresno State 21

Tags: Fresno State Bulldogs Las Vegas Bowl USC Trojans