After two weeks of college football, there is a contest between two teams that used to be powerful rivals. Those teams are the Texas Longhorns and the USC Trojans. The height of their rivalry was the 2006 Rose Bowl which was an epic contest where Texas outlasted USC 41-38 in the national championship game. However, a lot of changes have occurred for both universities as both look to become title contenders once more. Although Texas and USC are currently on different levels in terms of expectations, a win for either team could potentially catapult them to a phenomenal season.
The Texas Longhorns started the season with high hopes. After several disappointing seasons with coach Charlie Strong, the Longhorns replaced him with former Houston coach Tom Herman. Herman was expected to lead Texas back to the promise land. However, his season could not have started any worse. Texas started the season in the top 25 ranking and had a home game against Big Ten weakling Maryland. However, the Terrapins shocked and defeated the Longhorns 51-41 on Texas’ home field. However, Texas rebounded nicely and defeated FBS punching bag San Jose State 56-0 and will look to build on that momentum this weekend against USC. If Texas can pull off the upset, expect the Longhorns to return to the top 25 rankings and potentially be in a position to play in a major bowl game.
As for the USC Trojans, the university managed to return to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 2009. USC managed to pull off an amazing comeback against Penn State University and won 52-49 with a game winning field goal as time expired. This season, the Trojans are expected to compete for a national championship and are currently ranked in the top four according to the Associated Press. However, the season started off somewhat shaky as the Trojans struggled to dispatch of the Western Michigan Broncos before eventually winning 49-31. The Trojans followed up that close victory by playing conference rival Stanford where the Trojans won by 18 points. Although Texas is definitely worse than Stanford, Texas has the ability to score points in bunches and USC could potentially be on upset alert in the team’s defense is not up to the challenge.
The success of the Trojan offense starts and ends with quarterback Sam Darnold. Last season, Darnold threw for 31 touchdowns and over 3000 yards. Darnold was the catalyst for the Rose Bowl victory over Penn State as he threw for over 450 yards and five touchdowns. However, this season has not been easy for Darnold for the first two games. Against Western Michigan, Darnold threw two interceptions with zero touchdowns. Darnold did manage to rebound against Stanford and he threw for four touchdowns as the team won handily by double digits. If Darnold can pick apart this Longhorn defense, then USC should run away with this contest. However, if Darnold struggles, then Texas has a serious shot at pulling off the upset.
As for my prediction, I have to side with the Trojans. Texas’ defense got exposed by Maryland in week one and now has to face an elite offense from USC. I expect Darnold to expose this Longhorn secondary and throw for several touchdowns. I also expect USC’s running game to excel as the Longhorns’ defense struggles to make crucial stops as the game progresses.
I see USC winning this game by double digits as Darnold attempts to re-enter the Heisman trophy race.
Texas vs. USC: Game Time, TV Channel & Viewing Details
Event: Texas vs. USC
Date: Saturday, September 16, 2017
Start Time: 8:30 P.M. EST
Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA
How To Watch Texas vs. USC Online & Mobile
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