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Miller Moss enters record books and stakes claim to start in 2024 Leads USC to Holiday Bowl Victory

Having the first start of your career be in a nationally televised bowl game could be a daunting task. For Miller Moss and the USC Trojans, that was what faced them as they took the field against the Louisville Cardinals in the DirecTV Holiday Bowl. They say taking over for a legend is tough, but Moss made the most of the opportunity and did his part to lead his team. Moss excelled and entered the record books with the most passing touchdowns in Holiday Bowl history.

Moss, a redshirt sophomore, in his first career start, ended the PAC-12 chapter of USC football with an emphatic win but also put the Big 10 Conference on notice of what they will be like when the 2024 season begins. Moss who had completed 23 passes on the season, for many entered the game as an unknown. He responded by completing 23 of 33 passes for 372 yards on the evening with a Holiday Bowl record six touchdowns. He showed the poise and composure in the pocket of a seasoned veteran. Moss showed a great connection with his team and receivers and delivered throws with accuracy to enable his playmakers to gain yards all night.

Moss in his post-game comments praised his team and called his first start, "a good step in the right direction". Saying that it was a good positive moment for the team more than him. As the Trojans ended the season with three straight losses, seeing this as a reset and a big step in the right direction just showed Moss's leadership. Coach Lincoln Riley jokingly commented that he couldn't believe questions about Moss earning the starting job for 2024 didn't start until the fourth question he was asked during the post-game conference. He indicated that it would be Moss' role adding he probably scared some away after the record performance. Riley echoed what everyone saw during his post-game press conference that Moss played awesome showed great composure and made great throws throughout the game.

The Trojans offense led the way as Moss spread the ball out to nine different receivers. Led by Tahj Washington, who despite entering the NFL Draft made it clear that he wanted to play with Moss and the team in a final game. He finished with 99 yards in the game and two touchdowns. Washington and Coach Riley both praised Moss's efforts in the game as well as his preparation leading to the game. Both stressed his composure and how he was a natural leader. Austin Jones led the way for the Trojans on the ground rushing for 60 yards and adding 24 yards receiving on the night.

While the Pac-12 era has officially closed for the USC Trojans, they ended with a dominating win beating the 15th-ranked Louisville Cardinals 42-28 in front of 35,317 at the Holiday Bowl. Moss made a strong case for Leonard and the Trojans staff to not worry about the quarterback position while he is there. The victory gave the Trojans their first bowl win since beating Penn State in the 2016 Rose Bowl. The 2024 season and the first in their Big 10 journey just took a big step with Moss seemingly establishing himself as the next in a storied line of USC quarterbacks.


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