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Tulane rolls back USC in Cotton Bowl Classic comeback

The American Conference comes through in Arlington after being down three scores.

Tulane Green Wave quarterback Michael Pratt throws a touchdown pass during the first half against the USC Trojans in the 2023 Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

In a furious comeback after being down 15 points with under five minutes remaining, the Tulane Green Wave stormed back with a last second six-yard touchdown pass from Michael Pratt to Alex Bauman for a 46-45 win in the 2023 Cotton Bowl Classic.

A field goal from SC’s Denis Lynch gave the Trojans a 45-30 lead with 4:30 remaining, and the computers (rightfully!) had the game all but over.

But the ensuing two-play, 63-yard drive capped by Tyjae Spears TD Run got the Wave got the back within one score. Then a USC fumble on the kickoff put the ball at the USC 1-yard line. The Trojans then made the unusual decision to run the ball on first down, which resulted in the safety that changed the game.

Tulane quarterback Michael Pratt was just 8-18 passing, but for 234 yards and two touchdowns, as well as 15 carries for 83 yards. The Wave gashed the Trojans offense on the ground all day, with 34 carries for a whopping 305 yards.

2022 Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams was magnificent in the loss, finishing 36-50 for 460 yards and five touchdowns with an interception. But once again the Trojans fall short as they did in the Pac-12 Championship, mostly due to a porous defense.

Tulane closed as 2.5-point underdogs at DraftKings Sportsbook.