November 21, 2017

Texas Longhorns vs. USC Trojans Preview and Prediction

17 September 2017, 10:07 | Joan Schultz

Tom Herman is a Texan by choice

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All week, the talk leading into Texas visiting USC on Saturday night focused on the past.

Unlike the '06 matchup, this time, the Trojans were favored by more than two touchdowns.

As the 2017 college football continues on Saturday, Texas and USC face off at 8:30 PM EST in L. A. Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California. The Trojans couldn't feel too confident with a true freshman walk-on kicker, but Chase McGrath nailed a 31-yard field goal to send the game to overtime.

The journey to get there proved to be full of surprising twists. The USC ground game has picked up the slack, led by rusher Ronald Jones III, who sits third in the nation with five scoring runs to date. In Week 3, however, the Longhorns bounced back quickly with a huge road victory over the fourth-ranked USC Trojans, 17-14. And Texas stopped USC on fourth-and-goal at the one. Darnold shredded Stanford for 313 yards and four touchdowns.

The Longhorns came out on fire, making plays and holding a high-octane USC defense down to just 17 points through 60 minutes.

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Ehlinger's coaches and teammates were thrilled with his effort after the game. Darnold has tossed four picks this year, but he's completing 74.6 percent of his throws and has thrown for 605 yards on 44 completions.

Late in the second quarter, Gustin came off the edge and sacked Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger on consecutive plays. The game was going to be a big test for Darnold and company, as the last time these two teams played it was with a national title on the line. He left the field early in the second quarter and was taken to the locker room shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, he did throw two interceptions, but the important takeaway from Saturday night is that the Trojans remain flawless and Darnold's Heisman campaign isn't derailed just yet. Elliott finished the game with two interceptions. All things considered, this is the play Texas would most like to have back on the night. The game lived up to the hype in many ways and we learned more about the Longhorns on a flawless night in Southern California. Freshman Sam Ehlinger got his first career start and victory against San Jose State, but USC presents a larger challenge for an inexperienced passer.

The Longhorns have an off week before a Thursday night game at Iowa State, a potential trap spot.

ABOUT TEXAS (1-1): Look for the Longhorns to try and put together some long drives and keep USC's offense off the field as long as possible.

USC can breathe a sigh of relief, its playoff hopes suffering little or no damage. Tom Herman's team struggled to get much done offensively in the first half, but thanks to defensive back DeShon Elliott the Longhorns scored their first points of the game. There will be no 12-year wait this time.

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