As we all know, USC football faces an exceptionally daunting September with back-to-back away games at Stanford and Texas, teams both smarting from tough losses to the Trojans last season.
Texas was way too mistake-prone in 2017. Tom Herman’s first year in Austin saw errors cost him dearly in both OT losses to USC (Christian Rector’s famous strip fumble at the goal line) and Oklahoma State.
The ‘Horns also lost a crusher to Texas Tech on a last-minute turnover. Texas appeared to be icing the game, driving in Red Raider territory inside the final three minutes of play. On third-and-2 from the Tech 37, QB Sam Ehlinger threw a pick which was returned to the Texas 14 and the ‘Horns ended up losing 27-23.
When the Longhorns meet USC this season, they’ll be coming off a nice little home game tune-up against Tulsa. Herman’s crew figures to be ready for retribution after Sam Darnold personally sunk them in the Coliseum.
Per The Athletic’s Max Olson, “The scoreboard at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium reminded Texas players every Tuesday and Thursday during their 6 a.m. conditioning runs in the winter: FINISH.
“Surrounding that message on the 7,370-square-foot video board were images and final scores from the many games in 2017 that ended in bitterly frustrating fashion — USC (27-24), Oklahoma (29-24), Oklahoma State (13-10), Texas Tech (27-23). The raw emotions felt at the end of those missed opportunities are fuel for this critical offseason of building.
“The best compliment I’ve gotten since being the head coach at Texas is, ‘Man, you’ve got them playing so much harder than I remember in a long time,’ ” Herman said. “If you can play hard, you’ve got a chance to be in every game, which we were…”