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USC's New Year's Eve plans

December 30, 1990|STEVEN HERBERT

USC, which has played in 29 New Year's Day bowls, makes its second New Year's Eve appearance when it faces Michigan State in the John Hancock Bowl, Monday at 11:30 a.m. on CBS.

"This is one of the very best matchups," USC Coach Larry Smith said. "We have a much more attractive game than some of the New Year's Day games. This is a real clash between hard-nosed teams that will really play hard. When all is said and done, it should have one of the highest ratings of all the bowl games."

Michigan State (7-3-1) features a strong running attack, led by Tico Duckett, the sixth-leading rusher in Division I-A, averaging 125 yards per game.

Brad Nessler and Dan Jiggetts will call the game.

The other New Year's Eve bowl, the Domino's Pizza Copper Bowl, matches California (6-4-1) and Wyoming (9-3). It airs at 2 p.m. on WTBS.

Thanks in large part to a pair of first-year starters who were both Southland prep standouts, running back Russell White (Encino Crespi High) and quarterback Mike Pawlawski (Fullerton Troy High), the Bears are making their first bowl appearance since a 1979 28-17 loss to Temple in the now-defunct Garden State Bowl. The Cowboys' top player is defensive end Mitch Donahue, a second-team All-American.

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