Win Over Texas Shows USC is Officially Back


Kalen Ballage had one TD for the Sun Devils after tying an NCAA record with eight scores in a 68-55 victory in the desert a year ago.

With the game tied 24-24 in the second overtime, junior cornerback Ajene Harris recovered a fumble - his second of the game - giving USC the ball.

USC's 42-24 victory over Stanford as 4-point chalk last week extended its home unbeaten streak to eight games, vaulting the squad to No. 4 on the AP Top 25 rankings going into Saturday night's Longhorns vs. Trojans betting matchup at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The journey to get there proved to be full of surprising twists.

With approximately 45 seconds remaining, Ehlinger found Armanti Foreman on the right side of the endzone as the Longhorns captured their first lead 17-14. And Texas stopped USC on fourth-and-goal at the one. The game remained scoreless for most of the first half, until USC quarterback Sam Darnold slung a touchdown pass to go up, 7-0. Trojans defensive lineman Christian Rector ripped the ball out of Ehlinger's hands as the freshman quarterback was trying to stretch for the goal line on Texas' second overtime possession. With less than a minute to go in the first half, Darnold fired a pass to redshirt junior wide receiver Jalen Greene, who dropped it.

The play that set up the end-of-game drama up above? To end the first quarter Texas' Anthony Wheeler sacked Darnold for a 9-yard loss that ended of the 1st Quarter.

Texas left tackle Connor Williams, a consensus All-American last season, will be out for the foreseeable future due to a knee injury suffered in Saturday's loss at USC. Trojans RB Ronald Jones II reached the end zone for the 10th consecutive game with his scoring reception before halftime. He hit Collin Johnson for 47 yards. (There'd be no tying the game, because you can't score four points on a possession.) Ehlinger made a couple of circus plays, including a 4-yard scramble on a third-and-5 that set up a fourth-down conversion on a QB keeper on the next play. Darnold put USC in position to win, but it was McGrath who sealed the deal for the Trojans.

More news: Read About Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson - US Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana

As good teams will often do when locked in a struggle with their outmatched opponent, USC found big plays seemingly out of nowhere to help get by the upset-minded Longhorns. Texas mostly stuffed the run, and outside of the final moments of each half, it came up with the plays needed to give its true freshman quarterback a chance to win a high-profile road game.

Sophomore quarterback Shane Buechele (bruised throwing shoulder) was dressed and cleared to play.

Fresno State (1-1) at No. 6 Washington (2-0): When Jeff Tedford told Chris Petersen he was leaving his role as an offensive consultant with Washington to take the head coaching job at Fresno State, Petersen was all for it. Tedford will bring his Bulldogs to Seattle to face No. 6 Washington on Saturday (6:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks) and complete one of the more brutal two-game road trips in recent college football history.

The outage overshadowed the much anticipated duel between star tailbacks Bryce Love and Rashaad Penny, who both lived up to the hype as they carried their respective teams offensively deep into the night.

The best news of the night? Rudolph is in with a Heisman shout, and his team can contend for both the Big 12 and the playoffs this year.

The USC Trojans look for another victory to build on their 2-0 start to the CFB season.