USC vs. Texas 2017: Five takeaways from the game

By Tarik LaCour
Harry How/Getty Images
Harry How/Getty Images /
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Harry How/Getty Images
Harry How/Getty Images /

Darnold always gives you a chance

When Texas scored a go-ahead touchdown with 45 seconds left in the 4th quarter on a drive eerily similar a certain one in 2006, many thought the game was over.

It’s not that people forgot USC had worked magic before in the 2017 Rose Bowl, but it’s that the Trojans had blown so many opportunities on offense Saturday night.

It simply seemed impossible for USC to come out with the win. However, quarterback Sam Darnold is a Heisman front-runner and expected to be the number one pick in the 2018 NFL Draft for a reason.

He never gives up. He can make something out of nothing. His last drive in regulation was spectacular, hitting freshman running back Stephen Carr over the middle on a jump pass, and then finding senior receiver Steven Mitchell Jr. to get USC in field goal range.

Darnold then threw a beautiful touchdown pass on the first play of overtime to Deontay Burnett, and had Tyler Vaughns not dropped the ball in double overtime, he would have had another touchdown to seal the win. Walk-on true freshman kicker Chase McGrath takes that honor, instead.

While the offense struggled throughout the game and Darnold again threw two interceptions, he has been playing well so far in 2017. Many of his passes have been on the money and then dropped. His ability to extend plays by getting out of the pocket but keeping his eyes downfield is second to none.

USC would have lost this game without Sam Darnold. But it was reminded that as long as No. 14 is behind center, they will always be in the game.

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