Tulane scores 16 in final 4 minutes, stuns USC in Cotton Bowl

ARLINGTON, TX — Tulane tight end Alex Bauman catches a 6-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Michael Pratt with nine seconds left to score a desperate finish for No. 16 Green Wave to win the Heisman Trophy Won 46-45 against Caleb Williams. His No. 10 Southern California in Monday’s Cotton Bowl.

Bauman’s contested catch, which linebacker Eric Gentry draped over him, was initially ruled incomplete, but replay review showed the ball hitting the ground as the player rolled in the end zone. was shown to have not been touched. The Green Wave scored 16 points in his 4 minutes and 7 seconds in the final, and the game-winning touchdown came after recovering the ball following a safety.

According to ESPN Stats & Information research, over the past five seasons, the team has won more than 15 points with less than five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. The only win came in 2020, with Texas coming back against Texas Tech.

“I might have had a heart attack,” Tulane manager Willy Fritz said shortly after the game.

Williams passed 37-of-52 for 462 yards and scored a Cotton Bowl-record five touchdowns in the Pac-12 Championship Game, when USC lost to Utah and the quarterback threw a hamstring. It was just one month after I suffered the injury. – Team college football playoffs.

Tyjae Spears ran for 205 yards and his career-high fourth touchdown started the final scoring surge for the American Athletic Conference champions Green Wave (12-2). Green Wave completed his 9-win turnaround, an FBS record, after winning 2-10 last season. They entered the New Year’s Six Games as the highest-ranked Group of 5 teams.

The Green Wave played in the most important bowl since the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day 1940 when they were still in the Southeastern Conference. This was his biggest bowl win since his 1935 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, where the campus is located. .

After a 4-yard TD by Spears with 4:07 left, Green Wave chose to kick deep instead of attempting an onside kick. Mario Williams signals for a fair catch but fails to get the ball out of bounds on 1.

“We were debating whether to take an onside kick or not,” said Fritz, Tulane’s seventh-year coach. “This book taught us that it was going to kick a little deeper. Obviously, it was great that we got it first and got it safe.”

Pratt completed only 8 of 17 passes for 234 yards, but had two 24-yard completions on that final drive after a safety. The first one to Bauman converted 4 and 10, and after a 24-yard gain to 6 with 18 seconds remaining, Deuce Watts, despite a devastating hit from a defender who put both on the ground It held up.

A first 24-yard completion to Bauman converted 4 and 10. After gaining 6 yards for 24 with 18 seconds remaining, Duce Watts held on despite a devastating hit from a defender that put them both on the ground.

After Williams followed coach Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma, the Trojans (11-3) had their best performance in school history despite the coach’s first loss in six games at AT&T Stadium. This was his 7-win improvement from his 4-8 last season before Riley and Williams arrived on the West Coast.

The Trojans, who didn’t trail until that final touchdown, led 14-0 as Williams threw a TD pass on each of their first two possessions. His 9-yard TD to Michael Jackson III capped his game-starting drive, which took 9 minutes, the longest at USC this season, and Terrell Bynum’s 3-yard catch early in the 2nd quarter. He capped a 95-yard drive.

Tulane tied the game at 14 on Pratt’s touchdown pass to Jaquan Jackson, an 87-yard catch-and-run. However, USC scored twice at his 2:21 in the final half of the first half with 12 seconds left on Larryk Brown’s 39-yard run and Brenden Rice’s his 4-yard catch.

The son of Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice, Rice set career-highs with six catches for 174 yards and two touchdowns. Taj Washington recorded his five catches for his 109 yards.

Williams injured his hamstring on a 59-yard run early in the Pac-12 Championship Game loss to Utah on December 2, but threw for 363 yards and 3 TDs by the end of that game. .

USC’s only loss so far this season was against the Utes, who also beat them in a two-point conversion that earned them a home victory in mid-October.

The Cotton Bowl was Williams’ third game of the season, and he had five TD passes. His lone interception set up a TD that tied Tulane’s long game. Williams threw off his hind leg in a scramble with an open field in front of him and was picked up by Jarius Monroe.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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