USC vs Tulane Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic Prediction Game Preview Odds TV

USC vs Tulane prediction, game preview, odds, how to watch. Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, Monday, January 2, 2023

USC vs Tulane Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic Prediction Game Preview

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USC vs Tulane How To Watch

Date: Monday, January 2, 2023
Game Time: 1:00 ET
Venue: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
How To Watch: ESPN
Record: USC (11-2), Tulane (11-2)
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USC vs Tulane Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic 5 Things To Know

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic Prediction, What’s Going To Happen, History

Let’s put it this way. If you were to tell USC fans 12 months ago that their program that went 4-8 in 2021 was about to have a “disappointing” 11-2 season – complete with a Heisman-winning quarterback and a trip to the Sugar Bowl – you don’t think they’d have taken it in a heartbeat?

Yeah, it would’ve been great if Caleb Williams didn’t injure his hamstring in the Pac-12 Championship, but he did, the USC defense turned into wet tissue paper, and the team biffed its chance to make the College Football Playoff. But Lincoln Riley’s first year at the helm was a massive success, and it’s all just getting started.

Cincinnati was coming off a year in the College Football Playoff. UCF had all the talent in place to make its own run to a possible playoff spot, and Houston was everyone’s darling with a loaded team returning. There wasn’t anyone from the Group of Five going into the CFP, and the Bearcats, Knights, and Cougars are all preparing for life in the Big 12 next year.

Meanwhile, all Tulane did was go win the American Athletic Conference with the program’s first double-digit win season since 1998. If you think USC was a shocker, Tulane was coming off a 2-10 campaign and came up with its first winning season in three years. That, and …

Tulane hasn’t been to a bowl this big since losing the 1939 season’s Rose Bowl. Under Fritz this is the program’s fourth bowl game in five years – it went 2-1 in the first three. This is the chance to establish itself as the Group of Five’s biggest power going forward after the latest round of realignment kicks in next year.

USC has been a relative dud lately on the bowl circuit. It hadn’t been in one of these things since 2019, and it hasn’t won once since the 2016 season’s Rose. After going 9-2 in bowls after Pete Carroll’s first year, the program is 1-3 in them. And for Riley, this is his chance to win his second bowl game in four tries. His first was part of the reason why …

The Cotton Bowl is in need of a good game. Riley’s Sooners destroyed a bunch of Florida uniforms in a 55-20 Sugar in 2020. Last year Alabama went through the polite motions and disposed of Cincinnati in the College Football Playoff. In 2019 Penn State and Memphis put on a show – a 53-39 Penn State win – but that was part of a rough run of seven straight Cottons – and 14 of the last 15 – decided by eight points or more.

CFN Experts Picks: Jan 2 Bowls

Why Tulane Will Win The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic

Here comes the Green Wave running game.

The offense is balanced with a strong passing attack for a Willie Fritz attack, but everything rocks when the ground game is rolling.

Tulane has been brilliant at being able to adapt and adjust on the fly, but it won the American Athletic Conference championship with 254 rushing yards against UCF averaging over eight yards per pop, and averages close to 200 yards rushing yards per game.

Time of possession doesn’t mean all that much to the Green Wave, but with the best defense in the AAC in points allowed and third down stops, the more the ground game rumbles, the more everything else works with this team.

And again, there’s a passing game. Tulane and QB Michael Pratt lead the AAC in passing efficiency.

And then there’s the USC run defense.

It got run over by Utah in the Pac-12 Championship, allowed 4.7 yards per carry, and can be moved on in chunks. But …

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Why USC Will Win The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic

This is a BIG assumption that Caleb Williams will give it a go even with his banged up hamstring. (We’ll try to change this whole thing fast if he’s not able to play at the last second.)

He’s missing star WR Jordan Addison, and his offensive line isn’t intact, but the big play ability should still be there with the other weapons returning.

Tulane might have a terrific defense, but Houston’s passing game was okay, East Carolina pushed for close to 300 yards, and Memphis and SMU were able to bomb away on the secondary.

USC might not be smooth, but it’ll hit a few home runs.

On the other side, no, the defense hasn’t been anything great, but it’s masterful at taking the ball away. The definition of bending a whole lot without breaking, USC has forced two or more takeaways seven times with 29 on the year.

Tulane doesn’t have a massive turnover issue, but it lost the first time around against UCF when giving it away twice and …

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic Prediction, What’s Going To Happen, History

NEXT: What’s Going To Happen, USC vs Tulane Prediction, Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic History

USC vs Tulane Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, What’s Going To Happen

Tulane is a bad team for a banged up USC team to deal with.

There aren’t quite as many Trojan opt-outs and losses as you might think, but the offensive line is going to be the big question mark without guard Andrew Vorhees and center Brett Neilon.

As long as 13 is okay, USC will be fine.

Look for the Trojan defensive front to play at a high level – it’s been challenged after having to sit for a month on that performance against Utah in the Pac-12 Championship – but it’s all about whether or not the Heisman winner can come though.

As good as the Tulane defense is, it doesn’t generate much of a pass rush or enough pressure in the backfield to be a problem. Caleb Williams will get just enough time to work in an uneven performance for a Trojan team that will simultaneously struggle and set the tone – with a slew of huge offensive plays to make up for the problems – for 2023.

USC vs Tulane Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, Prediction, Line

CFN Prediction: USC 34, Tulane 30
Line: USC -2, o/u: 53.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic Must See Rating (out of 5): 4.5
CFN Experts Picks: Jan 2 Bowls

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic History

Dec. 31, 2021 Alabama 27, Cincinnati 6
Dec. 30, 2020 Oklahoma 55, Florida 20
Dec. 28, 2019 Penn State 53, Memphis 39
Dec. 29, CFP 2018 Clemson 30, Notre Dame 3
Dec. 29, 2017 Ohio State 24, USC 7
Jan. 2, 2017 Wisconsin 24, Western Michigan 16
Dec. 31, 2015 Alabama 38 Michigan State 0
Jan. 1, 2015 CFP Michigan State 42 Baylor 41
Jan. 3, 2014 Missouri 41 Oklahoma State 31
Jan. 4, 2013 Texas A&M 41 Oklahoma 13
Jan. 6, 2012 Arkansas 29 Kansas State 16
Jan. 7, 2011 LSU 41 Texas A&M 24
Jan. 1, 2010 Mississippi 21 Oklahoma State 7
Jan. 1, 2009 Mississippi 47 Texas Tech 34
Jan. 1, 2008 Missouri 38 Arkansas 7
Jan. 1, 2007 Auburn 17 Nebraska 14
Jan. 2, 2006 Alabama 13 Texas Tech 10
Jan. 1, 2005 Tennessee 38 Texas A&M 7
Jan. 2, 2004 Mississippi 31 Oklahoma State 28
Jan. 1, 2003 Texas 35 LSU 20
Jan. 1, 2002 Oklahoma 10 Arkansas 3
Jan. 1, 2001 Kansas State 35 Tennessee 21
Jan. 1, 2000 Arkansas 27 Texas 6
Jan. 1, 1999 Texas 38 Mississippi State 11
Jan. 1, 1998 UCLA 29 Texas A&M 23
Jan. 1, 1997 BYU 19 Kansas State 15
Jan. 1, 1996 Colorado 38 Oregon 6
Jan. 2, 1995 USC 55 Texas Tech 14
Jan. 1, 1994 Notre Dame 24 Texas A&M 21
Jan. 1, 1993 Notre Dame 28 Texas A&M 3
Jan. 1, 1992 Florida State 10 Texas A&M 2
Jan. 1, 1991 Miami 46 Texas 3
Jan. 1, 1990 Tennessee 31 Arkansas 27
Jan. 2, 1989 UCLA 17 Arkansas 3
Jan. 1, 1988 Texas A&M 35 Notre Dame 10
Jan. 1, 1987 Ohio State 28 Texas A&M 12
Jan. 1, 1986 Texas A&M 36 Auburn 16
Jan. 1, 1985 Boston College 45 Houston 28
Jan. 2, 1984 Georgia 10 Texas 9
Jan. 1, 1983 SMU 7 Pittsburgh 3
Jan. 1, 1982 Texas 14 Alabama 12
Jan. 1, 1981 Alabama 30 Baylor 2
Jan. 1, 1980 Houston 17 Nebraska 14
Jan. 1, 1979 Notre Dame 35 Houston 34
Jan. 2, 1978 Notre Dame 38 Texas 10
Jan. 1, 1977 Houston 30 Maryland 21
Jan. 1, 1976 Arkansas 31 Georgia 10
Jan. 1, 1975 Penn State 41 Baylor 20
Jan. 1, 1974 Nebraska 19 Texas 3
Jan. 1, 1973 Texas 17 Alabama 13
Jan. 1, 1972 Penn State 30 Texas 6
Jan. 1, 1971 Notre Dame 24 Texas 11
Jan. 1, 1970 Texas 21 Notre Dame 17
Jan. 1, 1969 Texas 36 Tennessee 13
Jan. 1, 1968 Texas A&M 20 Alabama 16
Dec. 31, 1966 Georgia 24 SMU 9
Jan. 1, 1966 LSU 14 Arkansas 7
Jan. 1, 1965 Arkansas 10 Nebraska 7
Jan. 1, 1964 Texas 28 Navy 6
Jan. 1, 1963 LSU 13 Texas 0
Jan. 1, 1962 Texas 12 Mississippi 7
Jan. 2, 1961 Duke 7 Arkansas 6
Jan. 1, 1960 Syracuse 23 Texas 14
Jan. 1, 1959 TCU 0 Air Force 0
Jan. 1, 1958 Navy 20 Rice 7
Jan. 1, 1957 TCU 28 Syracuse 27
Jan. 2, 1956 Mississippi 14 TCU 13
Jan. 1, 1955 Georgia Tech 14 Arkansas 6
Jan. 1, 1954 Rice 28 Alabama 6
Jan. 1, 1953 Texas 16 Tennessee 0
Jan. 1, 1952 Kentucky 20 TCU 7
Jan. 1, 1951 Tennessee 20 Texas 14
Jan. 2, 1950 Rice 27 North Carolina 13
Jan. 1, 1949 SMU 21 Oregon 13
Jan. 1, 1948 SMU 13 Penn State 13
Jan. 1, 1947 Arkansas 0 LSU 0
Jan. 1, 1946 Texas 40 Missouri 27
Jan. 1, 1945 Oklahoma State 34 TCU 0
Jan. 1, 1944 Texas 7 Randolph Field 7
Jan. 1, 1943 Texas 14 Georgia Tech 7
Jan. 1, 1942 Alabama 29 Texas A&M 21
Jan. 1, 1941 Texas A&M 13 Fordham 12
Jan. 1, 1940 Clemson 6 Boston College 3
Jan. 2, 1939 St. Mary’s 20 Texas Tech 13
Jan. 1, 1938 Rice 28 Colorado 14
Jan. 1, 1937 TCU 16 Marquette 6

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Story originally appeared on College Football News