Tulane scores 16 in final 4 minutes to stun USC
ARLINGTON, Texas– Alex Bauman knew immediately he had scored probably the biggest goal in Tulane history, even after the true freshman tight end’s contested 6-yard catch at the end of the Cotton Bowl was initially ruled insufficient.
“I kept my hands under the ball,” he said.The long replay review showed Bauman made the catch with 9 seconds left, even with linebacker Eric Gentry curtained over him as they rolled over in the end zone. That topped a frenzied surface for the 16th-ranked Green Wave in a 46-45 win over Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams and No. 10 Southern California on Monday.
“I might have had a heart attack,” Tulane coach Willie Fritz stated on the field minutes after the contest concluded.Green Wave quarterback Michael Pratt shared his sentiments on the wild ending.”If you informed us prior to the game that we had one drive, one opportunity to go down there and win the game, then we ‘d take that 10 out of 10 times,”Pratt said.The Green Wave (12-2 )scored 16 points in the last 4:07, the game-winning touchdown following they got the ball back following a safety.Over the past 5 seasons, teams had been 1-1,692 when trailing by 15 or more points with five minutes
or less remaining in the 4th quarter, according to ESPN Stats & Info research. The only win came in 2020, with Texas returning versus Texas Tech.”Big win for the program, huge win for the university, huge win for the city,”stated Fritz, who helped Tulane to an FBS-record nine-win turnaround after going 2-10 last season. Williams was 37-for-52 passing for 462 backyards and a Cotton Bowl-record five touchdowns, precisely one month after suffering a hamstring injury in USC’s loss to Utah in the Pac-12 championship game that kept the Trojans(11-3) from making the four-team College Football Playoff.Tulane’s Tyjae Spears ran for 205 yards, his FBS-best 8th successive 100-yard game. His career-best 4th touchdown started the last scoring surge for American Athletic Conference champion Tulane, which
was in the New Year’s 6 game as the greatest ranked Group of 5 team.The Green Wave played in their most considerable bowl considering that the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day in 1940, when they were still in the Southeastern Conference, and it was their biggest bowl win because the 1935 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, where their school is located.After Spears’ 4-yard scoring kept up 4:07 left, the Green Wave opted to kick deep instead of attempting an onside kick. Mario Williams signaled for a reasonable catch however fumbled the ball out of bounds at the 1. Two plays later on, defensive take on Patrick Jenkins fulfilled running back Austin Jones in the end zone and smothered him for a security.” We were disputing whether or not to onside kick, “Fritz said.”Clearly, it was terrific that we got it on the 1 and got the safety.”Pratt finished only 8 of 17 passes for 234 yards but had two 24-yard completions on that final drive after the security.
He also scrambled 8 lawns on a fourth-and-6 play.The first 24-yard conclusion to Bauman transformed a fourth-and-10. Wide receiver Duece Watts then hung on despite a squashing hit from a USC defender that left both of them on the ground following a 24-yard gain to the 6 with 18 seconds left.After Williams followed coach Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma
, the Trojans matched the most significant turnaround in school history regardless of the coach’s very first loss in six games at AT&T Stadium on Monday. Their launching campaign resulted in a seven-win improvement over last season’s 4-8 record.”I’ve rarely at the end of the year felt so conflicted,”Riley said.”On one hand, sick about the method we ended up the season. … We lost three games this year. We lost two of them on the last play of the game. And we lost one in the 4th quarter in the national championship when we had a chance to go to the College Football Playoff.
“The Trojans never trailed against Tulane till that last touchdown. Williams threw TD passes on each of their very first 2 belongings. A 9-yarder to Michael Jackson III capped the game-opening 9-minute drive, the longest by time for USC this season, and Terrell Bynum’s 3-yard catch completed a 95-yard drive early to make it 14-0 in the 2nd quarter.Tulane connected the game at
14 on Pratt’s goal pass to Jha’Quan Jackson, an 87-yard catch and run. But USC scored two times in the last 2:21 of the very first half, on Raleek Brown’s 39-yard run then Brenden Rice’s 4-yard catch with 12 seconds left.Rice, the boy of Pro Football Hall of Popularity pass receiver Jerry Rice, had profession bests with six catches for 174 yards and two touchdowns. Tahj Washington registered five catches for 109 yards.Williams got injured on a 59-yard run early in the Pac-12 national championship loss to Utah on Dec. 2 however still tossed for 363 yards and 3 TDs while finishing that game. USC’s just other loss was also to the Utes, who had a game-winning 2-point conversion at home in mid-October.
The Cotton Bowl was Williams’third game this season with 5 TD passes. His only interception set up Tulane’s long game-tying TD. On a scramble with open field in front of him, Williams rather shook off his back foot and was picked off by Jarius Monroe.”It’s going to linger. You lose the last game of the season, enter into the offseason, burns,”Williams stated.”Do not have another game after. It’s going to burn.”The Associated Press added to this story.