Darnold was not great for most of Saturday's game as both defenses dominated, but the 6-4 redshirt sophomore found some late magic to get USC in position for a game-tying field goal to force overtime. While USC finished on a roll, they didn't qualify for the Pac-12 championship game and were never really in the College Football Playoff discussion; the Trojans were ninth in the final CFP ranking. But USC began last season 1-3 and got famously destroyed by Alabama in the opener.
OR 49, Wyoming 13: Royce Freeman ran for three touchdowns in the first half and OR roughed up Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen as the Ducks (3-0) defeated the Cowboys in Laramie, Wyoming.
Texas has been one of the more freakish games Saturday night - with the teams trading scores in the final minute of the first half in unconventional ways. USC had drawn first blood, scoring the game's first points on the touchdown.
No. 4 USC wasn't supposed to trail Texas by three points with 30 seconds remaining in regulation. The game remained scoreless for most of the first half, until USC quarterback Sam Darnold slung a touchdown pass to go up, 7-0.
The 17 combined points scored in overtime were only outdone by the burst of points registered in the waning moments of the first half.
By the time walk-on Chase McGrath hit a walk-off field goal, this famed matchup definitely had its mojo back.
Sam Ehlinger delivered a 28 yard pass to Colllin Johnson for the first down, and after that play the Trojans defense sacked Ehlinger three times in a row. The Longhorns tied it moments later when Darnold's flawless pass smacked off receiver Jalen Greene's hands and DeShon Elliott snatched it for a 38-yard TD interception return with 19 seconds left in the first half.More news: How to Pre-order the iPhone 8
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The Trojans answered back as Darnold found his favorite target Deontay Burnett for a 14 yard gain. Buechele and Sam Ehlinger have combined for three touchdowns this season.
That's when another star of the day, the Trojans' defense, stepped up. Chris Warren III would be a good candidate after rushing for 166 yards and two touchdowns last week, and Kyle Porter provides Texas a solid second option in the rushing attack. McGrath then coolly ended it with the second field goal of his college career. "I think the most important thing right now is show your teammates and show your coaches and the people that you care about and love that we've improved in the last couple weeks and that we know how to win a big game".
The Longhorns then fumbled after getting inside the USC five-yard line in the second overtime.
In terms of strength of schedule, beating an unranked Texas team at home doesn't look like a big deal.
So when the architect of Southern California's return to excellence says he sees imminent signs of the same restoration in Tom Herman and Texas, the Longhorns' fans should take heart. Before his big game against Weber State, Laird had spent the past three years as a backup running back in an offense that was focused nearly entirely around the passing game.
Where: L.A. Coliseum, Los Angeles, Calif. Other than USC providing a big target for the Longhorns.
The Trojans are back, and not just because some media type is saying it.