Texas loses to USC, 27-24, in double overtime

Southern California running back Ronald Jones II center celebrates his touchdown with Toa Lobendahn right and Chuma Edoga during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Stanford Saturday Sept. 9 2017 in Los Angeles. (AP

Elliott gave Texas its third interception return for a touchdown in as many games going 38 yards off a tipped pass in the final minute of the first half.

That bunker mentality extends to the Texas quarterbacking.

Darnold completed 21 of 26 passes against the Cardinal for 316 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions, reasserting himself as a top candidate for the Heisman Trophy. In the second overtime period, the Trojans won after Christian Rector ripped the ball loose from Texas freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger at the three-yard line, setting the stage for USC freshman kicker Chase McGrath to win the game with a 43-yard field goal. Ehlinger is considered slightly more of a running threat.

But even with that exhilarating play, it just got USC back to where it started before forcing a pass with 30 seconds left.

In the hyper-reactive world of September rankings, USC is likely to slide a bit in the Top 10 after struggling to hold on, even though its defense almost posted a shutout for 59 minutes.

With the win, Vandy is 3-0 to start the season for the first time since 2011, James Franklin's first of three with the program.

"We've worked so hard over this a year ago to be the team that can run the ball when we must to win games", Helton said. 14 Stanford in its Pac-12 opener last Saturday.

Defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast agreed.

Ehlinger passed for 298 yards and led a 91-yard, go-ahead TD drive late in regulation for the Longhorns (1-2). However, those defensive concerns are mitigated by an explosive offense capable of simply outscoring every team on the schedule.

While Gustin is unable to go, this matchup favors USC.

Texas may have to rely on freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger to make strides in the passing game if Shane Buechele isn't available after sitting out last week's 56-0 victory over San Jose State. The running game hasn't been established. Other than USC providing a big target for the Longhorns. After a somewhat sluggish start against Western Michigan, Southern Cal manhandled Stanford, racking up 316 yards through the air and 307 on the ground. USC averaged a healthy 8.4 yards per play, converted 10 of 12 third-down attempts and punted only once.

It's no secret the leader for this unit is sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold. USC is 11-1 since Darnold took over as the starter early in the 2016 campaign and has scored 40 or more points in eight out of the last 11 games. Ronald Jones eclipsed 1,000 yards last season and was expected to challenge for All-America honors in 2017. After Burnett and Mitchell, no wide receiver has more than three catches through the first two games. Additionally, freshman Stephen Carr has been a breakout star by rushing for 188 yards and two scores on just 18 carries.

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 Longhorns were gouged by Maryland for 263 rushing yards in their season-opening loss, including 132 on 12 carries by Ty Johnson - a 1,000-yard rusher like Jones last season. After a rough debut against Maryland, all eyes will be on Orlando on Saturday night.

Our defense played well, they had turnovers, but Vince was a dominant, dominant player, and he just made that play. Regardless of the final spread, USC is the better team. With uncertainty at QB and questions on defense, the Longhorns will need a quantum leap to pull off the upset in LA. After several disappointing seasons with coach Charlie Strong, the Longhorns replaced him with former Houston coach Tom Herman.

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