Saturday, December 23rd, 2017


The No. 8 USC Trojans made the trek Saturday from southern California to North Texas in anticipation of their first appearance in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic in 22 years.

The USC contingent was welcomed by a fanfare of cardinal and gold as the Trojans (11-2, 8-1 Pac-12) return to the Classic’s 82nd edition for just the second time in their storied postseason history. Head coach Clay Helton said he is excited to have his squad experience the traditions of the Cotton Bowl Classic against a perennial power in Ohio State.

“When you talk about a USC-Ohio State matchup, I think everybody in college football was excited,” said Helton. “If you're a college football fan, that's what you love to see, is to see the best teams play on the brightest stage down here in Dallas at AT&T Stadium. It doesn't get any better than that.”

USC’s previous Classic appearance was a memorable one, trouncing Texas Tech 55-14 in the 1995 Classic in a record-filled performance before a sellout crowd and a national television audience on NBC. The Trojans have their sights on a repeat performance, but this time, it will be against a fifth-ranked Ohio State team looking to close the season with a fifth-straight win.

The Trojans turn their focus back on the Buckeyes (11-2, 8-1 Big Ten) tomorrow afternoon with their first practice after a five-day break.

“Today for us is like a Sunday,” said Helton. "Tomorrow will be a Monday practice, Monday format practice. And then we'll go through the week, just like a normal routine week leading up to the game on Friday."

Sunday’s practice is closed to the public and media.

The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic celebrates its 82nd anniversary on Friday, Dec. 29. Airtime on ESPN is set for 7:30 p.m. CST, with kickoff slated for 7:40 p.m.

This marks the fourth consecutive year for the Goodyear Cotton Bowl to be a part of the ESPN bowl lineup. Bob Wischusen and Brock Huard are set to provide the call from the booth with Allison Williams reporting from the sidelines.

ESPN Radio returns as the Classic's national radio partner for the sixth consecutive year. Brad Sham, the "Voice of the Dallas Cowboys," teams with Rod Gilmore in the booth and Quint Kessenich on the sidelines to describe all the action from AT&T Stadium. This is Sham's 21st consecutive year as the Classic's play-by-play voice and his 25th overall.