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Wisconsin football: Badgers accept invite to play USC in Holiday Bowl

The Badgers look for their second consecutive bowl victory -- this time against the Trojans.

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The Wisconsin Badgers won't play in a New Year's Day bowl, but they'll challenge a talented, established football program down in southern California just a couple days prior to 2016.

The Badgers (9-3, 6-2) accepted the invite to play the USC Trojans (8-5, 6-3) in the 2015 Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif., on Wednesday, Dec. 30. The game is currently slated for an 9:30 p.m. CT (7:30 p.m. PT) start, and will be televised live on ESPN.

It appears former Wisconsin kicker and current UW special teams assistant Taylor Melhaff officially broke the news via Twitter on Sunday, while ESPN's Brett McMurphy also reported via Twitter the bowl game participants. Wisconsin officially announced on Twitter thereafter.

The Trojans won the Pac-12 South division title but lost 41-22 to Stanford in the Pac-12 championship game on Saturday. They currently rank No. 25 in the College Football Playoff system, while the Badgers rank No. 23 in the AP Poll that was released earlier Sunday.

It'll be the 14th consecutive bowl game for Wisconsin and fourth straight for USC. The Trojans lead the all-time series 6-0.

Badgers fans can head to for more information on travel packages, fan events and more.

Here's the official release from Wisconsin's athletic department:

UW to face USC in Holiday Bowl in San Diego

MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin football team will make its first appearance in the Holiday Bowl after accepting an invitation Sunday afternoon to face USC on Dec. 30 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.

The Badgers, whose streak of 14 consecutive bowl trips is the best in the Big Ten, went 9-3 in the regular season, including a 6-2 mark that was good for third in the Big Ten West Division. USC is in a bowl for the fourth-straight year and making its 51st bowl appearance overall. The Trojans are 8-5 after falling to Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship Game yesterday.

This will be the seventh meeting between Wisconsin and USC, the first since 1966. USC has won the previous six meetings, including two in the Rose Bowl. The 1953 Rose Bowl marked UW's first-ever bowl appearance. The 1962 Rose Bowl, where the top-ranked Trojans defeated the second-ranked Badgers, 42-37, is widely recognized as one of the most exciting Rose Bowls in history. UW scored 23 fourth-quarter points to nearly rally from a 42-14 deficit as Ron Vander Kelen passed for a then-Rose Bowl record 401 yards. The 79 total points scored was a Rose Bowl record that stood for 28 years.

UW has never played in the Holiday Bowl but has made nine bowl appearances in California, all coming in the Rose Bowl. This is the second of a six-year partnership between Big Ten and the Holiday Bowl. Nebraska lost to USC, 45-42, in last year's game. Big Ten teams made 10 appearances in the Holiday Bowl between 1979 and 1994, going 8-2.

With an average high temperature of 65 degrees in late December and attractions such as Sea World, the world famous San Diego Zoo and Coronado Island, San Diego is an exciting new destination for Badgers fans.

Fans can join the Badgers in San Diego for this outstanding game. Tickets and several travel packages are currently available. Complete details can be found at

Ticket Information - Donors to Wisconsin Athletics and Football Season Ticket Holders

The exclusive period for donors to Wisconsin Athletics and football season ticket holders to request Holiday Bowl tickets concludes on Monday, Dec. 7 at Noon. Requests will be accepted online or by calling the Wisconsin Athletic Ticket Office at 1.800.GO.BADGERS.

Ticket Information - UW Student Football Season Ticket Holders

Holiday Bowl tickets will go on sale to Wisconsin football student season ticket holders only beginning Monday, Dec. 7 from 7-10 p.m. or until supplies last, whichever comes first. Tickets will be sold online at Student season ticket holders may purchase up to two bowl tickets. A credit card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover) is required to order tickets.

Students will have their credit cards charged once an order is placed. No refunds or exchanges will be granted. Wisconsin football student season ticket holders who do not order during the student bowl game on-sale may order with the general public starting Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 8:30 am.

Ticket Information - General Public

In person orders, at the Wisconsin Athletic Ticket Office, phone orders made by calling 1.800.GO.BADGERS and online orders at will begin Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 8:30 a.m., subject to availability.

Travel Information

Wisconsin Athletics has partnered with two experienced partners for fans' travel needs, the Wisconsin Alumni Association and Funjet Vacations.

The Wisconsin Alumni Association offers the Official Badger Bowl Tour where travelers enjoy perks, access, convenience and camaraderie you won't find anywhere else. Visit the Wisconsin Alumni Association for complete details on the Official Badger Bowl Tour.

Funjet Vacations is also a long-time travel partner of Wisconsin Athletics. Check out the travel packages offered by Funjet Vacations.

For complete ticket, travel and fan information about Wisconsin's trip to the Holiday Bowl, visit