Two storied programs that have crossed paths only a handful of times collide in 2019 as Iowa plays USC in the Holiday Bowl.
USC looked primed to fire Clay Helton amidst a brutal 3-3 start that included losses to BYU, Washington and rival Notre Dame. But Helton got the team to finish on a 5-1 run to finish 8-4, and only narrowly missed out on playing in the Pac-12 title game. Helton was rewarded for the team’s strong finish with a commitment from the school that he’d coach in 2020.
The Iowa Hawkeyes had yet another respectable season with quarterback Nate Stanley under center for his senior year. But despite a few solid wins over Iowa State and Minnesota among others, they couldn’t beat the heavy-hitters such as Michigan, Penn State or Wisconsin.
Brett McMurphy of Stadium was one of the first to report that the two big programs will face off in the Holiday Bowl.
USC vs. Iowa in Holiday Bowl, sources told @Stadium
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) December 8, 2019
It will be the first time since the 2003 Orange Bowl that Iowa and USC face off. Pete Carroll and Carson Palmer got the better of Kirk Ferentz that day, winning 38-17.
Overall, this will be the 10th meeting between the two schools. Prior to the Orange Bowl, all of their previous meetings had been in the regular season.
The Trojans own the all-time series record, holding a 7-2 advantage over the Hawkeyes.