Rally enables USC to beat Texas in OT
Chase McGrath kicked a 43-yard field goal in the second overtime after hitting a tying 31-yarder on the final snap of regulation, and No. 4 USC rallied for a 27-24 victory over Texas on Saturday night at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Sam Darnold passed for 397 yards and three touchdowns to help the Trojans (3-0) surge to their 12th consecutive victory.
Christian Rector forced a goal-line fumble by Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger in the second overtime before USC’s walk-on freshman kicker ended it with the second field goal of his college career.
“We had to finish strong, and that’s what we did,” said USC receiver Deontay Burnett, who caught eight passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns.
After 55 minutes of defense-dominated football, both offenses got rolling late to create a pretty decent sequel to these powerhouse programs’ last meeting in the landmark 2006 Rose Bowl.
Ehlinger passed for 298 yards and led a 91-yard, goahead TD drive late in regulation for the Longhorns (1-2). The freshman quarterback from Austin grew up, but Texas was 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.
“The plays down the stretch by Sam and Deontay, I don’t know if I’ll ever forget in my life,” USC coach Clay Helton said. “You hope for perfect execution, and that’s what we got.”
Burnett caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Darnold on the first snap of overtime. 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 as the quarterback attempted to score. Ajene Harris recovered, but the Trojans’ offense stalled before McGrath came through again.
“It’s good to get a great win against such a great Texas team,” Darnold said. “We gave it all we had. They gave it all they had. It was just a great win for our guys. We learned a lot of things about our offense. Good things, and things we’ve got to figure out.”
Both defenses were in charge 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.
#6 Washington 48, Fresno St. 16:
Dante Pettis had four touchdowns, including an NCAA record-tying eighth punt return TD of his career, and the host Huskies (3-0) finished the undercard of their schedule with a rout of the Bulldogs (1-2). Pettis had touchdown receptions of 4 and 7 yards in the first half, and caught a 73-yard TD pass from Jake Browning on the second play of the second half to give Washington a 48-7 lead. But it was his 77-yard punt return late in the first quarter that left Husky Stadium buzzing and put Pettis’ name into another record book. Pettis caught the kick from Blake Cusick near the Washington sideline, shook one defender initially, hurdled another in the open field and finally stepped through a last tackle attempt. Pettis also got a key downfield block from Myles Bryant to complete the return and give Washington a 27-0 lead. “It’s kind of crazy just because coming into college I never would have thought that was something I could do,” Pettis said. “I didn’t even know I was going to be a punt returner to be honest. Now that it’s here it’s kind of crazy.”
#21 Washington St. 52, Oregon St. 23:
Luke Falk threw six touchdown passes — three to Tavares Martin Jr. — and the host Cougars (3-0, 1-0 Pac-12) beat the Beavers for the fourth straight time. Falk, the FBS active leader with 98 touchdown passes, completed 37 of 49 passes for 396 yards without an interception. Martin had 10 catches for 194 yards. Falk tied a school record for touchdown passes that he already shared. “He looked very sharp,” coach Mike Leach said. Jake Luton threw for 179 yards for Oregon State (1-3, 0-1), but was carted off the field in the fourth quarter with an injury.
Memphis 48, #25 UCLA 45:
Riley Ferguson threw for 398 yards and six touchdowns and Jacobi Francis broke up a fourth-down pass in the closing seconds to lead the host Tigers (2-0) past the Bruins (2-1). Francis’ breakup with 56 seconds left prevented another fourth-quarter comeback by Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen, who was 34-for-56 passing for 463 yards and four TDs. But unlike in the Bruins’ opener when Rosen engineered a fourth-quarter comeback to defeat Texas A&M, the Memphis defense stiffened on UCLA’s final possession. “There’s a formula for winning,” UCLA coach Jim Mora said. “You can’t turn the ball over, and you can’t give up explosive plays and we did both.”
Texas Tech 52, Arizona St. 45:
Nic Shimonek threw for six touchdowns, receiver Dylan Cantrell had the goahead score on a 3-yard run in the final two minutes and the host Red Raiders (2-0) beat the Sun Devils (1-2). Kalen Ballage had one touchdown for the Sun Devils after tying an NCAA record with eight scores in a 68-55 victory in the desert last year. Manny Wilkins’ deep pass on fourthand-30 was overthrown on the final Arizona State possession as the Sun Devils fell short after rallying from 18 points down at halftime and 14 behind late in the third quarter.
Oregon 49, Wyoming 13:
Royce Freeman ran for three touchdowns in the first half and the visiting Ducks (3-0) roughed up quarterback Josh Allen and routed the Cowboys (1-2). Allen drew representatives from 16 NFL teams to War Memorial Stadium, but it was Oregon that impressed. Freeman ran for 157 yards on 30 carries and turned a screen pass into a 50-yard gain. Justin Herbert passed for 251 yards and a score, and added a touchdown run. As for Allen, in what could be his last game against Power Five competition, the 6-foot-5, 230pound junior was 9-for-24 passing for 64 yards.
Colorado 41, Northern Colorado 21:
Steven Montez threw for a careerhigh 357 yards and four touchdowns, helping the host Buffaloes (3-0) beat the Bears (1-1) in the first meeting between the schools since 1934. Montez spread around the wealth by throwing TD strikes to Devin Ross, Shay Fields, Bryce Bobo and Jay MacIntyre. Colorado turned the ball over twice deep in Northern Colorado territory to keep things interesting.
USC kicker Chase McGrath (40) is mobbed by teammates after kicking the game-winning field goal in overtime against Texas.