USC looks for a win and a boost in rematch with Texas

Sam Darnold-091717-GETTY-FTR

For much of regulation, what was hyped as a rematch-for-the-ages between No. 4 USC and Texas didn't live up to its billing.

The turning point in the second overtime came when the Trojans defense forced a fumble with Texas threatening to score.

USC managed to pull off an wonderful comeback against Penn State University and won 52-49 with a game winning field goal as time expired.

The Longhorns did eventually take the lead but the Trojans put kicker Chase McGrath in a position to tie and send the game to overtime. Freshman Sam Ehlinger started against San Jose State and is more of a dual threat. And the No. 4 Trojans (2-0) should be wary of Texas' visit to the Coliseum on Saturday night (5:30 p.m., Fox) for a marquee early-season showdown. That's when Vince had gone down and drove, and we really drove on them all game, and really the second half, and we were driving again, and we went for it on fourth down, and they stopped us with - what was it? - like two minutes left or something.

Sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold has been a key piece to USC's return to top form, throwing for 33 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in his career. But so far, Texas is still looking for answers on both sides of the ball and the preseason expectations for this program may have been a little too high.

But the Trojans answered.

Both teams have concerns about their placekicking, which is something to keep in mind in a close game.

The Tigers did not concede a touchdown in a pair of dominating wins over Kent State and Auburn to open the campaign, and have surrendered just 16.4 points per game during a stunning 16-1 SU run. However, if Darnold struggles, then Texas has a serious shot at pulling off the upset. Gustin entered Saturday as a game- time decision, as he underwent surgery for a broken toe on Wednesday.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - It had all the markings of an ugly out-of-conference matchup, but Ohio State turned on the jets and ran away from Army in the second half, knocking off the Black Knights 38-7 in front of more than 108,000 people at Ohio Stadium.

The momentum shift would not last long, however. Jerrod Heard is a former starting quarterback who moved to wide receiver and is back under center. Cornerback DeShon Elliott picked off Darnold twice, including that pick six, to spearhead a great defensive effort for the Longhorns.

Sam Darnold (28 of 49, 347 yards) and USC's host of skill players will eventually find a way to dent any defense. USC led 14-7 heading into halftime.

Third-down specialist Jeffrey McCulloch took USC out of field goal range with an 11-yard sack in the fourth quarter.

Texas: Quarterback, whoever it is. Ronald Jones eclipsed 1,000 yards last season and was expected to challenge for All-America honors in 2017.

In the Rose Bowl last January, the Nittany Lions rushed for more than 200 yards against USC and scored two touchdowns on plays of 70-plus yards, including Saquon Barkley's 79-yard run.

Texas quarterback Shane Buechele missed last week's game with a sore shoulder, but returned to practice this week. He caught the pass but was short of a first down.

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