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


The last time the two met, they produced the greatest college football game of all time, a classic between two historically talented teams. In recent years, both programs have been trying to even come close to reaching those heights again, and Saturday served as both a key test in USC's playoff pursuit and a measuring stick for Texas' progress.

No. 4 USC went down to the wire against Texas on Saturday night, in what turned out to be a thrilling rematch of the 2006 Rose Bowl game, the Trojans winning 27-24 in double overtime.

Not to say Army (2-0) isn't capable of giving the Buckeyes (1-1, 1-0 Big Ten) some headaches. Freshman Sam Ehlinger got the start for the second straight week, and he's been shaky.

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

The Trojans have won 11 consecutive games overall, including last season's Rose Bowl. In Week 3, however, the Longhorns bounced back quickly with a huge road victory over the fourth-ranked USC Trojans, 17-14. That's when Vince had gone down and drove, and we really drove on them all game, and really the second half, and we were driving again, and we went for it on fourth down, and they stopped us with - what was it? - like two minutes left or something. USC managed to pull off an incredible comeback against Penn State University and won 52-49 with a game winning field goal as time expired.

USC took care of business against No. 14 Stanford on Saturday thanks to a four-touchdown performance from Heisman hopeful Sam Darnold. With five seconds left at their own 38 yard line, Darnold threw short of the end zone to Jones at around the 20. Other than USC providing a big target for the Longhorns.

Astros hold off Mariners
Kuechel went six innings to earn the pitching victory, with Segura's homer the only run he allowed. Perhaps most frustrating for Ramirez and the Mariners is that all the damage came with two outs.

Ehlinger made his second start in a row in place of the injured Shane Buechele.

Ehlinger passed for 298 yards and led a 91-yard, go-ahead TD drive late in regulation for the Longhorns (1-2). Collin Johnson and Reggie Hemphill-Mapps have combined for 291 receiving yards and one touchdown while Armanti Foreman has 10 receptions.

Arizona State (1-1) at Texas Tech (1-0): Texas Tech certainly hasn't forgotten Kalen Ballage, the Arizona State running back who tied an NCAA record by scoring eight touchdowns against the Red Raiders a year ago. USC must be ready for all three. Darnold marched USC down the field in rapid fashion, finding junior wide receiver Deontay Burnett, freshman running back Stephen Carr and redshirt senior wide receiver Steven Mitchell Jr. and setting up a 31-yard field goal by freshman placekicker Chase McGrath to force overtime.

USC finished with 468 total yards, including 397 passing yards from Darnold, but it was hard not to be impressed with the way the Longhorns defense, led by linebacker Malik Jefferson plus Elliott's two interceptions, played just two weeks after Texas allowed 51 points to Maryland.

The Trojans didn't play like the No. 4 team in the nation but it doesn't help when you make unusual decisions on the sideline. Texas also lost offensive lineman Connor Williams early in the second quarter with a knee injury. Sophomore Sam Buechele completed 34 of 52 passes for 375 yards and two touchdowns in the season opener against Maryland.

The Longhorns have an off week before a Thursday night game at Iowa State, a potential trap spot. And while quarterback Josh Rosen and UCLA have put themselves among the nation's top teams right now, Memphis has only one rain-soaked game under its belt to prepare itself for this matchup.