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Iowa Football: Holiday Bowl Initial Matchup Preview Vs. USC

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Can the Hawkeyes take down the Trojans for the first time since 1961?

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Orange Bowl
The last time these two teams faced off, it didn’t end well for Iowa
Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Iowa Hawkeyes will wrap up their 2019 season on Friday evening as they embark on their 17th bowl trip under head coach Kirk Ferentz. The Hawkeyes will be facing off with a foe they haven’t seen since 2003 in a bowl game they haven’t played in since 1991. Neither of those prior two appearances hearken great memories for Iowa fans.

In that 2003 meeting with USC, the Hawkeyes were looking for their first major bowl win under Ferentz. Iowa was coming off their best season in more than a decade in 2002 and ran into a buzz saw with the Trojans. USC defeated Iowa 38-17 behind a roster full of NFL talent that could have contended for a national title if not for early season slip ups at #25 Kansas State and at #17 Washington State.

The last time Iowa had won 10+ games in a year prior to that 2002 season was 1991. The late, great Hayden Fry led the Hawkeyes to a 10-1 season in ‘91, but an early loss to #7 Michigan cost Iowa a Big Ten title and a trip to the Rose Bowl. The Hawkeyes settled for a trip to the Holiday Bowl and a date with unranked BYU. Iowa left San Diego with a 13-13 tie. Yes, a tie. Yuck.

Now, 28 years later, Iowa is headed back to San Diego and the Holiday Bowl where they look to avenge the tie and the 20013 loss to USC. Here’s your quick preview of Iowa’s matchup with the Trojans.

Opponent: USC trojans (8-4, 4-3)
Rank: 22
Location: San Diego Community Credit Union Stadium - San Diego, CA
Kickoff Time: 7:00 PM CT
Preliminary Forecast: Sunny, High of 62
Tickets: StubHub
TV: FS1
Video Streaming: Fox Sports Live & the Fox Sports App
Opening Line: Iowa -2, O/U 52

Series History

These two teams haven’t faced off frequently, but when they have USC has had the upper hand.
Image via winsipedia.com

Statistical Leaders

Image via ESPN.com
Image via ESPN.com

Statistical Matchup

Image via ESPN.com