LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- The preseason top-ranked team, USC thought it would be playing in the sun in January and they weren't far off… but perhaps they were thinking more along the lines of the sun in Miami and the BCS National Championship game.
Instead, after finishing 7-5 and falling from the national ranks, the Trojans are bound for the sun of El Paso, Texas.
USC has accepted a bid to play in the Hyundai Sun Bowl against Georgia Tech of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Though it's a ways from where they wanted to originally be, the Trojans are making us believe they're happy to be playing in a bowl on New Year's Eve.
"It's my first bowl game," said junior Robert Woods. "I'm very excited to go."
"We weren't a national championship team," junior Silas Redd said, "this is our last game of the season, our last game to prove that we're a great team."
"I'm really excited," said sophomore Randall Telfer. "We can't end our season on a loss, so we come into this week and we're going to prepare and play our hearts out. That's all we can ask for."
This is the second consecutive year Georgia Tech will play in the Sun Bowl. The Yellow Jackets defeated Utah last season 30-27 in overtime.
Coach Paul Johnson's team finished its season 6-7 and he says they welcome the challenge USC and its offense will present.
Kevin Carden contributed to this video.