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Texas overcomes slow start to throttle #22 USC 37-14

The Longhorns score 34 unanswered points en route to their second win of the season

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Photo via: Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports

Prior to Saturday night’s game between the Texas Longhorns (2-1, 0-0) and the #22 USC Trojans (1-2, 0-1), Texas head coach Tom Herman told his team to “cut it loose and don’t leave anything behind.”  With more than 50 recruits that hold scholarship offers from teams in Power 5 conferences in attendance, the Longhorns and Herman needed a resounding win over a team they were favored to beat. The Longhorns did just that, shaking off an early USC lead to defeat the Trojans 37-14 in front of an energetic crowd of 103,507 at Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium.  The win goes in the record books as #900 for the program, but more importantly Tom Herman and Texas improve to 2-1 on the season.

Ture freshman quarterback JT Daniels marched the Trojans down the field on the opening possession, capping off a 9 play 75-yard drive with a 20-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Stephen Carr.  The Longhorns answered USC’s score with a 20-yard field goal by true freshman Cameron Dicker, the first of his career at Texas.

Sophomore Vavae Malepeai’s 3-yard touchdown scamper increased the Trojan lead to 14-3 with :33 left in the first quarter — the last time the Trojans would score a point in the contest.

The Longhorns answered USC with a touchdown of their own at the 13:23 mark in the second quarter.  Sam Ehlinger would connect with LJ Humphrey, who out-sprinted a tandem of USC defenders for a 47-yard touchdown, cutting the USC lead to 14-10.

On USC’s next possession, Kris Boyd intercepted JT Daniels, setting the Longhorns up at their own 49 yard-line. Cameron Dicker added his second field goal of the night, this time from 46 yards out. USC led Texas 14-13 with 10:39 left in the quarter.

As the first-half clock expired, Dicker gave Texas its first lead over the Trojans, making good on a 46-yard field goal.

At the half the Longhorns led USC 16-13.

Texas struck early in the third quarter, extending its lead to 23-13 on Joshua Moore’s 27-yard touchdown reception from Sam Ehlinger.

Caden Sterns blocked USC kicker Chase McGrath’s 46-yard field goal attempt at the 6:25 mark, which was scooped up by linebacker Anthony Wheeler and returned for a touchdown. The Longhorns increased their lead to 30-14.

Sam Ehlinger gave Texas its third touchdown of the quarter on a designed quarterback draw from 4 yards out with 1:42 remaining.

After three quarters, the Longhorns scored 34 unanswered points and led USC 37-14.

Both teams would go scoreless in the fourth quarter, and the Longhorns would win by the final score of 37-14.

Game Notes:

  • Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed for 35 yards and one touchdown.
  • Tre Watson led the Longhorns in rushing with 72 yards on 18 carries. Daniel Young finished the night with 57 yards on 12 carries.
  • The Texas defense held USC to -5 rushing yards on 16 carries.
  • Texas kicker Cameron Dicker went 3-3 tonight in field goals and made good on 4/4 extra points.
  • Wide receiver LJ Humphrey had another big night, hauling in four receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown.
  • Joshua Moore caught his first career touchdown pass in the 3rd quarter of tonight’s contest.
  • Texas set an all-time attendance record tonight (103,507).
  • The Longhorns join Michigan and Ohio State as the only FBS programs to reach 900 wins.

The Longhorns will face TCU at Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium next Saturday at 3:30 PM.

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Aaron Carrara is the founder and publisher of HornSports and has covered University of Texas athletics since 2011. Aaron is a member of the Football Writer's Association of America and the U.S. Basketball Writer's Association and is a proud father to three boys.

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