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.
Tulane TD! What a play by Alex Bauman and what a drive by Michael Pratt! pic.twitter.com/cmOuIyxpZd— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) January 2, 2023
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 getting a safety AND a chance to beat USC is WILD pic.twitter.com/nTnUR2x6IT— GoldMouthLu (@GOLDMOUTHOLU) January 2, 2023
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.