SAN DIEGO >> Adoree’ Jackson scored on a 98-yard kickoff return and a 71-yard pass from Cody Kessler, and No. 24 Southern California blew most of an 18-point, third-quarter lead before beating No. 25 Nebraska 45-42 in the Holiday Bowl on Saturday night.
Kessler threw for 321 yards and three touchdowns for USC (9-4), which was playing Nebraska (9-4) in a bowl game for the first time.
USC stuffed De’Mornay Pierson on fourth-and-3 from the USC 31 with 2 1/2 minutes left. Nebraska had one final shot but Tommy Armstrong Jr.’s desperation pass as time ran out was knocked down inside the 10.
Armstrong had brought Nebraska back from a 45-27 deficit with a 65-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Westerkamp and a 15-yard keeper and a 2-point conversion pass to Kenny Bell.
Armstrong threw for 381 yards and three TDs.
USC had 515 yards of total offense and Nebraska finished with 525.