No. 4 USC ral­lies for wild win over Texas

Fresh­man McGrath de­liv­ers de­ci­sive FG

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - SPORTS - By Greg Beacham

Fresh­man Chase McGrath kicked a 43-yard field goal in the se­cond over­time as No. 4 South­ern Cal­i­for­nia ral­lied for a wild 27-24 win over Texas.

LOS AN­GE­LES — Fresh­man Chase McGrath kicked a 43-yard field goal in the se­cond over­time after hit­ting a ty­ing 31-yarder on the fi­nal snap of reg­u­la­tion as No. 4 South­ern Cal­i­for­nia ral­lied for a 27-24 vic­tory over Texas on Satur­day night.

GAME OF THE DAY

Sam Darnold passed for 397 yards and three touch­downs to help the Tro­jans (3-0) to their 12th con­sec­u­tive vic­tory.

Chris­tian Rec­tor forced a goal-line fum­ble by Texas quar­ter­back Sam Eh­linger in the se­cond over­time be­fore McGrath’s de­ci­sive kick.

After 55 min­utes of de­fen­sive dom­i­na­tion, both of­fenses broke out to cre­ate a de­cent se­quel to th­ese pow­er­house pro­grams’ last meet­ing in the 2006 Rose Bowl.

Eh­linger passed for 298 yards and led a 91-yard, go-ahead TD drive late in reg­u­la­tion for the Longhorns (1-2), who were nar­rowly de­nied a huge win early in coach Tom Her­man’s de­but sea­son.

Eh­linger hit Ar­manti Fore­man with a 17-yard touch­down pass with 45 sec­onds left, but McGrath tied it on the fi­nal snap of reg­u­la­tion after Darnold drove the Tro­jans 52 yards in about 30 sec­onds.

Deon­tay Bur­nett caught a 25-yard touch­down pass from Darnold on the first snap of over­time, but Cade Brewer caught a short TD pass to cap Texas’ first OT pos­ses­sion.

Texas reached the goal line in the se­cond OT be­fore Rec­tor ripped the ball out of Eh­linger’s hands while the fresh­man quar­ter­back at­tempted to score.

Both de­fenses dom­i­nated un­til late in Texas’ first visit to the Coli­seum in 50 years. The schools hadn’t met since the Longhorns won the na­tional ti­tle with a thrilling 41-38 vic­tory in Pasadena.

Even with Vince Young and Matt Leinart in at­ten­dance, both cur­rent of­fenses showed no signs of repli­cat­ing that beauty in the re­match — un­til every­thing went crazy in the fi­nal min­utes.

The game was score­less un­til 2:40 be­fore half­time, when Bur­nett made a div­ing TD catch.

The Longhorns tied it mo­ments later when Darnold’s per­fect pass smacked off re­ceiver Jalen Greene’s hands and DeShon El­liott snatched it for a 38yard TD in­ter­cep­tion re­turn.

In­stead of kneel­ing out the half, Darnold threw un­der­neath Texas’ pre­vent de­fense to Ron­ald Jones, who sprinted across the field for a 56-yard TD, get­ting a dev­as­tat­ing block from re­ceiver Steven Mitchell on the way in.

For Texas, once the heartache sub­sides, this will be an en­cour­ag­ing out­ing. The de­fense took some re­mark­able strides for­ward after giv­ing up 51 points to Mary­land in that sea­son opener.

For USC, the de­fense de­serves most of the credit for keep­ing them in a game that turned out to be much tougher than any­body ex­pected. But the Tro­jans are likely to slide a bit in the na­tional rank­ings, even though its de­fense nearly posted a shutout for 59 min­utes.

Mark J. Ter­rill The As­so­ci­ated Press

South­ern Cal­i­for­nia’s Deon­tay Bur­nett catches a touch­down pass, beat­ing Texas de­fen­sive back DeShon El­liott in the first half Satur­day.

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