San Diego Credit Union Holiday Bowl - Oregon v North Carolina
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Bowl season will deliver a first-time matchup Wednesday when USC and No. 15 Louisville meet in the Holiday Bowl at Petco Park in San Diego, California. The Trojans, making their fourth Holiday Bowl appearance and first since 2019, are out to salvage their second season under coach Lincoln Riley after losing three straight games to end the regular season. At 7-5, USC fell drastically short of championships aspirations that accompanied an AP No. 6 ranking in the preseason. 

As for Louisville, the Cardinals are looking to secure 11 wins or more for the first time since 2013 as they make their first Holiday Bowl appearance. Under first-year coach and former Louisville quarterback Jeff Brohm, the Cardinals finished the regular season 10-3 and as the ACC runner-up after starting the season unranked. Louisville's seven ACC wins were tied with 2016 for the program's most since joining the conference back in 2014. 

Viewing information, storylines and more for the Holiday Bowl can be found below. 

How to watch Holiday Bowl live

Date: Wednesday Dec. 27 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Petco Park -- San Diego, California
TV: FOX | Live stream: Fubo (Try for free)
For a limited time, new subscribers can save $20 on Fubo's Pro, Elite and Premier plans.

USC vs. Louisville: Need to know

No Caleb Williams for USC: It came as no surprise when USC announced shortly after earning its spot in the Holiday Bowl that starting quarterback Caleb Williams -- one of the most dynamic players in the sport -- had opted out of the contest. The 2022 Heisman winner is widely projected as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, and while Williams yet to officially declare his decision to skip the bowl game points to him turning pro. It puts redshirt sophomore Miller Moss in line to make his first career start when the Trojans face the Cardinals. There was speculation that true freshman quarterback Malachi Nelson could see playing time, but that ended when the former five-star prospect and heir-apparent to Williams entered the transfer portal after two seasons in Los Angeles.

Louisville without two big weapons: USC isn't the only team headed to San Diego down some of its top stars, particularly on offense. While Louisville has only seen two players opt out of the Holiday Bowl, both of those players -- starting running back Jawhar Jordan and leading receiver Jamari Thrash -- have been critical to the Cardinals' success in 2023. Jordan finished the regular season as the ACC's second-leading rusher at 1,128 yards, and Thrash's 858 yards were more than double that of any other Louisville pass-catcher this year. With Jordan and Thrash absent, look for some lesser-known names to potentially steal the spotlight within a unit that is still anchored by quarterback Jack Plummer, whose 3,063 yards passing ranked second in the ACC this regular season.

Late-season blues: There was a point in the season when USC and Louisville both looked like College Football Playoff contenders amid 6-0 starts, but both schools now find themselves entering the Holiday Bowl on losing streaks. The Trojans succumbed to Washington, Oregon and UCLA in consecutive games down the stretch. The Cardinals saw their hopes of a New Year's Six bowl -- and while slim, perhaps even the College Football Playoff -- end with losses to rival Kentucky in Week 13 and then to Florida State in the ACC title game. Safe to say, both teams would love to leave San Diego with a victory and take some much-needed momentum into 2024 after stumbling late. 

Holiday Bowl prediction, picks

Odds via SportsLine consensus

The Holiday Bowl may be a de facto home game for USC given the relatively short drive from Los Angeles to San Diego, but will it mean anything? The Trojans' high-octane offense was negated all season by a defense that couldn't stop anyone, and nobody is counting on those woes to magically vanish against a pass-heavy Louisville offense. With USC set to be just a shell of itself on offense Wednesday night, the Trojans appear to be in a precarious position entering their final football game as a Pac-12 member before exiting for the Big Ten. If Louisville's offense gets rolling -- which feels likely -- it's hard to envision USC keeping pace for all four quarters. Pick: Louisville -7.5

Which college football picks can you make with confidence during bowl season? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned well over $2,000 in profit over the past seven-plus seasons -- and find out.