Heading into the 2022 season, the USC Trojans were ready to let everyone know that they were back and ready to contend for a national title. Not only did they lure Lincoln Riley away from Oklahoma, but Riley also brought many of his stars from Oklahoma with him. That included Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Caleb Williams. Riley also brought in a lot of talent from the transfer portal, including top wideout Jordan Addison. USC was ready to attack the season.
Unfortunately for the Trojans, their second loss of the season to the Utah Utes in the Pac-12 Championship game knocked them out of the College Football Playoff picture, and now they will head to Arlington, Texas to meet the Tulane Green Wave in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.
Let’s now take a look at each of the participants, and then we’ll give you our NCAA Football Bowl Betting prediction for this year’s Cotton Bowl Classic.
Cotton Bowl Classic Betting Update: Will the Trojans Be Ready for the Green Wave?
Tulane Green Wave
The Tulane offense is one of the best in the country. It averages just over 35 points per game, and much of that is due to quarterback Michael Pratt. Pratt spreads the ball around the field to numerous different receivers, as Tulane’s offense is loaded with weapons. Pratt has thrown for 25 touchdowns on the season.
Unfortunately for Tulane, their defense hasn’t been as good as their offense. We look for USC to try to take advantage of a subpar Tulane run defense.
Even though Williams will be playing, the Trojans will still be missing a lot of key pieces. Addison won’t be playing as he will be rehabbing an ankle injury. Williams will also be missing some key pieces of his offensive line, as those players have opted out of playing in the Cotton Bowl. We look for USC to focus on running the ball, and then opening things up in the passing game.
Defensively, the Trojans are good at getting turnovers, but while they are good with that, they do give up a lot of points. We think Tulane can score against this unit, as their offense is very efficient. They don’t turn the ball over, and they are very well-coached.
We know that USC will be the more talented team in this one, even without some key pieces. We’ll see how the Trojans utilize the new starters, and we’ll also be anxious to see if Riley gets some younger players some more playing time to see what the future holds for them.
USC has been made a 1.5-point favorite in this one. Since they have so many opt-outs, the spread is much closer than many had anticipated. There’s no doubt that the Trojans are the more talented group, but we’re really not sure of what kind of product Riley will put on the field. In the end, the talent of Caleb Williams and the company will win out. This one will be close, but the Trojans end up winning by a touchdown, thus covering the small spread.
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