A week after thumping Stanford and exorcising one recent demon, USC struggled mightily in trying to right a wrong that reached back into the very lore of its storied program.
The Trojans have dominated during their year-long tear, claiming victory by double-digit margins in nine of 11, and producing against the spread wins on eight occasions, including a 5-2 ATS mark on home turf.
It may not have been pretty for the first 60 minutes of play, but a double-overtime win by No. 4 USC will leave a memorable image of a walk-on kicker, Chase McGrath, nailing a 43-yard field goal to lock down a double overtime victory over Texas.
While Texas was tied 0-0 in the second quarter against USC when Williams went down, the tackle has been a big part of the team's offensive success to start the year. Defensively, USC is allowing 27.5 points and 349.5 yards per game. That 7-7 score would stay static for the next 36 minutes or so of game time until quarterback Kyle Shurmur's two-yard touchdown run (of course) proved to be the difference in the game. With 19 seconds left, DeShon Elliott intercepted a deflected pass off Darnold and returned it 38 yards for a Texas touchdown. Last season, Darnold threw for 31 touchdowns and over 3000 yards.
Heisman contender Sam Darnold didn't panic, and drove USC into field goal range near the end of regulation. With an explosive USC offense on the other side, controlling the line of scrimmage and establishing the run are musts if Texas wants to pull the upset. Carrington has lived up to the hype after transferring from OR, tying for No. 6 in the country with 128 receiving yards per game and trying for No. 11 with 17 receptions. Texas had to convert two fourth downs on the drive. With time winding down and neither offense doing much, Longhorns freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger led a heroic drive and hit Armanti Foreman on a touchdown pass to give Texas a 17-14 advantage with 54 seconds to go. He left the field early in the second quarter and was taken to the locker room shortly thereafter. Elliott finished the game with two interceptions. New coach Tom Herman was considered by many to be the top hire for 2017, and he inherited a program with 16 returning starters and a handful of promising young players. The Longhorns were also never able to establish anything on the ground as no one rushed for more than 15 yards. However, a shoulder injury prevented Buechele from playing against San Jose State last Saturday, opening the door for true freshman Sam Ehlinger and junior Jerrod Heard to take snaps under center.
The Longhorns have an off week before a Thursday night game at Iowa State, a potential trap spot.