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Tulane vs. USC, 1 ET
Outside of a tough New Year’s Eve, this has been a pretty successful bowl season for us and we’ve been able to capture a few plus-money victories. A collapse by UCLA also hurt, but outside of those games, I’ve been pretty successful. We only have a few games left for the season and I’m looking to end on a positive note.
Tulane isn’t one of those schools that comes to the top of your mind when you think about college football. But, this year, they’ve been really good and find themselves playing in the Cotton Bowl against one of the more well-known football schools. On the season, Tulane has an 11-2 record. The problem to me is that I feel like their losses are a bit questionable. They dropped a game to a Southern Miss team that ended their season 7-6, and a UCF team that I can understand a loss to. They did rebound from that loss to UCF with a victory over them in their most recent game, the AAC Championship game. In that one, they were able to win by 17. I have been impressed with the Tulane passing game and do think that is a way to exploit the USC defense. Their defense will have their hands full though against a potent USC offense.
Speaking of USC, they also finished their year with an 11-2 record. In their most recent game (it was still a month ago) they were throttled by Utah. In fact, Utah was the only team that beat USC this season. It sounds stupid, but Utah won the first game just by simply outscoring USC – yes, that’s the only way to win a game. However, what I’m getting at here is that getting one or two key stops can provide a victory for opponents because most USC possessions will result in points. USC’s defense is bad enough to score on regularly. That plays into the style of Tulane’s offense. Tulane’s defense hasn’t seen a team like USC this season though (with maybe the exception of Kansas State). I do think that Tulane has the better defense in this game, but that might not be enough to stop Caleb Williams from doing his thing – if he plays. There are some missing pieces on USC’s side, but if Williams is out, I doubt USC has a chance in this game.
There aren’t a ton of question marks about who will play, but there is one huge one about Williams. If he is out, I can’t take USC. If he is in, I have to wonder how good he will be or how much he will test his banged-up hamstring. I have to take Tulane with the 2.5 points in this game. I think they have a chance to win with their offense even with Williams out there.
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