The Cotton Bowl means something more to USC than just a big-time postseason game.
It also means a return to AT&T Stadium.
Coach Clay Helton remembers all too well: “Last time we were there, we got our butts beat.”
That would be the 2016 season opener against top-ranked Alabama, when the No. 20 Trojans were embarrassed 52-6 on national television. Helton might have been hoping the ugly memory would add some adrenaline to the team’s preparation.
The coach reminded his players they would, once again, face a marquee program at the Arlington, Texas, venue. They seemed appropriately energized during a fast, loud practice on Wednesday...