The 1995 Cotton Bowl was the 59th Cotton Bowl Classic. The USC Trojans defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders, 55–14. The Trojans took a 21–0 lead less than ten minutes into the game and led 34–0 at halftime. USC wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, who finished with eight catches for a Cotton Bowl-record 222 yards and three touchdowns, was named offensive MVP. Trojan cornerback John Herpin had two interceptions, one for a touchdown, and was named defensive MVP.
USC's appearance was only the third in Cotton Bowl history by a team from the Pacific-10 Conference, following that of Oregon in 1949 and UCLA in 1989. Texas Tech's appearance was the last by a team from the Southwest Conference, which disbanded a year later. The Red Raiders finished 1-3 against ranked opponents, beating #19 Texas, but losing to #1 Nebraska, #21 Oklahoma, and #10 Texas A&M. They finished tied for 2nd place in the Southwest Conference with Texas, Baylor, TCU, and Rice. SWC champion Texas A&M could not play in a bowl game due to NCAA sanctions. The Longhorns were slated to play in the Sun Bowl, the Bears were slated to play in the Alamo Bowl, and the Horned Frogs were slated to play in the Independence Bowl, which left the Red Raiders to play in the Cotton Bowl Classic.