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No. 4 USC hosts Texas in early-season meeting of powers

17 September 2017

The second half featured much more of the frustrations and silly mistakes of the first half, for both teams. "With each game under Tom Herman, they're going to get better and better". Herman knocked off three top-10 teams during his tenure at Houston.

USC has similar playoff aspirations as it plays host to Texas on Saturday night.

The Longhorns were without quarterback Shane Buechele for the game, but that was okay as true freshman Sam Ehlinger stepped in and put up a masterful performance.

Ehlinger is 5 of 10 for 89 yards and an interception. So no passing game.

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But then Elliott tied it up with his pick-six.

It doesn't come across as a surprise, but Ronald Jones has been nothing short of excellent for the Trojans.

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. USC almost got into the endzone on the ensuing drive, but had to settle for a field goal after multiple unsuccessful attempts for a touchdown.

Still, it's been a big night for the defense. Malik Jefferson leads the Texas Longhorns with 16 tackles, Edwin Freeman has one sack and Holton Hill has two interceptions.

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Left tackle Connor Williams is the Longhorns' prized NFL Draft prospect, and will be heavily relied on Saturday night.

As good as the defense has looked, the offense has struggled. The running game hasn't been established. Ehlinger has been pressured throughout and has made a couple of mistakes. Those two no-calls on deep throws haven't helped. The "Texas Tesla" already has 275 yards and five touchdowns on the ground in two games, showcasing his improved physicality along with his usual speed. Bush also scored on four punt returns during his National Football League career. Yes, he's missed from 42, 43 and 44 yards and had one of those blocked and returned for a touchdown. "Both of them were saying, 'Coach, we didn't see ya on the field, and we wanted to congratulate you, 'cause your team played great, and you've got a great team, and we didn't wanna leave this stadium tonight without running you down.' And I thought that was really, really classy". That 3-0 lead would have felt good even a quarter later with the defense pitching a shutout and frustrating the Trojans. You know the one.

For now, though, the Commodores will bask in the glow of the biggest win, outside of last year's upending of No.24 Tennessee, of Derek Mason's time in Nashville. Same goes with Ehlinger's shot to Lorenzo Joe later in the quarter, when the defender had his arm wrapped around Joe's waist. This also marks the first time since 1946, a 7-0 win over No. 20 North Carolina State, that Vandy has beaten a ranked non-conference opponent. Or it could be that they wanted to protect Buechele's shoulder unless playing him was absolutely necessary.

So when the architect of USC's return to excellence says he sees imminent signs of the same restoration in Tom Herman and Texas, the Longhorns' fans should take heart.

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No. 4 USC hosts Texas in early-season meeting of powers