by Nick Hamilton (@NickHamiltonLA)
SAN DIEGO, CA – After being shutout in the second half, the USC Trojans got destroyed by the Iowa Hawkeyes 49-24 in the 2019 Holiday Bowl. The Trojans loss their starting quarterback in Kedon Slovis to an elbow injury in the third quarter on a massive hit by Hawkeyes defensive end A.J. Epenesa. Slovis was replaced by back up quarterback Matt Fink who didn’t have the same magic and rhythm with the starters. Fink finished the game with 76 yards passing and and interception that resulted in a pick six by Hawkeyes wide receiver Ihmir Smith Marsette.
Marsette tied a Holiday Bowl record with his 98-yard return that was set by Adoree Jackson in 2014.
Marsette finished with three touchdowns (one receiving, one rushing, one special teams), and was the game MVP.
The only bright spot for USC beyond Slovis who finished 22/30, on 260 yards passing and threw for two touchdowns in the loss. Trojans wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown finished with 9 receptions for 163 yards and finished the season with 1,062 total yards.
Hawkeyes quarterback Nate Stanley completed 18/27 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns in the huge win. Iowa finishes the season 10-3, as head coach Kirk Ferentz captures his second 10-win season of his career.
As the Trojans finish 8-5 on the season, head coach Clay Helton must do some serious searching as to not only who his new coaching staff will be in 2020, but can he seriously turn this program around to a prominent state.