Tulane and USC met on Monday afternoon in Dallas for the Cotton Bowl and the two teams put together an instant classic, with the Wave pulling off the upset by way of a 15-point comeback in the final 4:30 of the game. USC seemingly took control after opening the fourth quarter with Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams’ fifth TD pass of the game to go up 12, tacking on a field goal with 4:30 left to take a two-touchdown advantage.
However, the defense, as it has on a few occasions this year, After a two-play, 63-yard touchdown drive pulled them within 8, USC fumbled the kickoff and took over on their own one, where Tulane’s defense made a rare stop by stuffing a run two yards deep in the end zone for a safety, breathing life into their comeback bid.
WHAT A GAME
Tulane gets a safety and now has a chance to win it pic.twitter.com/VG2oHGamFS
— ESPN (@espn) January 2, 2023
On the ensuing drive, Tulane went 66 yards in 12 plays, culminating in a walkoff touchdown with eight seconds to play as Michael Pratt found Alex Bauman for a six-yard strike that was initially ruled incomplete.
The Tulane TD play ruled incomplete and the crowd reaction when it was called a TD after review pic.twitter.com/aiXUAakh9Q
— CJ Fogler AKA Perc70 #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) January 2, 2023
The side angle showed the ball clearly never touched the ground, as Bauman and the defender’s arms were both under it as he corralled it for the game-winning score, as the extra point after lifted Tulane to a 46-45 win.
TULANE HAS TIED THE GAME pic.twitter.com/sqc01Legiw
— Mr Matthew CFB (@MrMatthewCFB) January 2, 2023
It was an insane game, with both offenses putting on a show. Williams finished with 462 yards and five touchdowns, while Tulane’s star running back Tyjae Spears gashed the Trojans for 205 yards and four touchdowns on just 17 carries. It’s a massive win for Tulane, a program that coach Willie Fritz has steadily built into an AAC power, while USC will end a strong first year under Lincoln Riley with back-to-back losses that showed just how vulnerable their defensive weakness is right now.