Holiday Bowl: No. 22 USC (8-4) vs. No. 18 Iowa (9-3), Friday at 8 p.m. EST (FS1).
Line: Iowa by 2+.
Series record: USC leads 7-2.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
The Hawkeyes will be playing for the memory of former coach Hayden Fry, who died on Dec. 17 at age 90, and for a 10-win season. Fry coached at Iowa for 20 seasons, taking the Hawkeyes to the Holiday Bowl three times. USC plays for the first time since new athletic director Mike Bohn announced that coach Clay Helton would return next season, a move that was unpopular with fans.
USC’s passing game, led by freshman QB Kedon Slovis and junior WR Michael Pittman, against Iowa’s defense. Slovis has thrown for 3,242 yards and 28 touchdowns, against nine interceptions in 11 games, including 10 starts. Pittman has 95 catches for 1,222 yards and 11 touchdowns. Iowa ranks sixth nationally in scoring defense (13.2 points), 12th in total defense (304.3 yards) and 12th in passing defense (184.2 yards).
PLAYERS TO WATCH
USC: Slovis, who took over after JT Daniels suffered a season-ending knee injury in the opener, is coming off a school-record 515 yards as well as four touchdown passes in a 52-35 victory over UCLA.
Iowa: Senior QB Nate Stanley will become the fifth player in program history to start three bowl games, and he is looking for his third straight postseason win. He will be making his 39th consecutive start and is 26-12 overall.
FACTS & FIGURES
Iowa will honor Fry by removing the Tigerhawk decals from its helmets. Fry introduced the logo during his 20-year tenure. It will be just the third time the Tigerhawk has been removed from the helmet for a game. The first was Nov. 2, 1991, the day after a mass shooting on campus, and for the 1996 Alamo Bowl, after Diane Mitchell, the mother of linebacker Mark Mitchell, was killed in a car crash on the way to San Antonio. … The Hawkeyes will wear a helmet decal honoring Bump Elliott, Iowa’s athletic director from 1970-91, who died Dec. 7 at age 94. … Iowa has won won three straight games. … This is Iowa’s fourth time in the Holiday Bowl, beating San Diego State in 1986 and Wyoming in 1987 and tying BYU in 1991. … USC is 1-1 in the game, beating Nebraska in 2014 and losing to Wisconsin in 2015. … The teams haven’t met since USC won 38-17 in the 2003 Orange Bowl. … USC has won three straight and five of six. … This is the final year of the Pac-12 vs. Big Ten matchup. Next year, the ACC will replace the Big Ten.
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