Iowa and Iowa State playing in Ames earlier this year.

Iowa defensive end A.J. Epenesa says the Holiday Bowl offers a marquee opponent for the Hawkeyes.

After a 9-3 regular season the Hawkeyes will play USC on December 27th in their first visit to the Holiday Bowl since 1991. “USC is up there with the top names ever…when people think of college football, they think of Alabama, USC, and schools like that,” Epenesa said.

Iowa junior receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette said it will be a tough game but they look forward to playing anyone outside of their conference and it gives them a chance to show what the Big Ten Conference is made of.

Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy looks forward to the chance to play Notre Dame. The 7-5 Cyclones and Fighting Irish collide in the Camping World Bowl in Orlando on December 28th.

“Growing up it’s a team that I watched playing with all the other programs,” Purdy says. He says it will be exciting to play against a program with such a rich history.

The Cyclones will return to practice later this week.