Austin, Texas • Sam Ehlinger passed for two touchdowns, Anthony Wheeler returned a blocked field goal 46 yards for a score and Texas beat No. 22 Southern California 37-14 on Saturday night to give second-year coach Tom Herman his biggest win in burnt orange.
Texas, which had started 1-2 in four of the previous five seasons, trailed 14-3 in the first quarter before shutting down freshman quarterback J.T. Daniels and scoring 34 unanswered points.
The win could be a huge boost for a Texas (2-1) program that desperately needs one after eight years without a Big 12 title and a run of bad seasons. Herman is 9-7 with the Longhorns and got this win in front of an energized school-record crowd of 103,507 that stayed to the end and kept up deafening chants of “Texas Fight!”
Ehlinger threw touchdown strikes of 47 yards to Lil’Jordan Humphrey and 27 yards to Joshua Moore. Wheeler’s scoop and score came in the third quarter after Texas blocked a 50-yard field goal attempt. The touchdown put the Longhorns up 30-14.
Daniels passed for 322 yards, but the Trojans (1-2) were held to minus-5 yards rushing.
The Trojans will have to regroup to keep their season together. Daniels was sharp in spots and led USC to a pair of first-quarter touchdowns after not finding the end zone against Stanford a week earlier. Personal fouls kept a couple of Texas scoring drives alive — linebacker Porter Gustin was ejected for targeting — and short punts led directly to two Texas scores.
The Longhorns will expect to earn some respect with this win. Texas fought back from the early deficit, the defense dominated the Trojans’ running game and kept up the pressure late. Ehlinger was efficient, playing his first game this season without a turnover. USC hasn’t come close to living up to its preseason expectations, but it’s still a traditional power and Texas pushed the Trojans around. Texas also got program win No. 900, joining Ohio State and Michigan as the only programs to reach that number.
Nevada 37, Oregon State 35 • In Reno, Nev., Jordan Choukair missed a 33-yard field goal as time expired and Nevada held off a furious Oregon State comeback. Nevada (2-1) led 30-7 lead with 10:16 left in the second quarter after Asauni Rufus forced Conor Blount to fumble the ball, and Malik Reed picked it up and ran 48 yards for a touchdown.
California 45, Idaho State 23 • In Berkeley, Calif., Chase Garbers completed 20 of 25 passes for 224 yards and three touchdowns in his second game as Cal’s starting quarterback, and the Golden Bears overcame a sluggish start and beat FCS-level Idaho State.
No. 20 Oregon 35, San Jose State 22 • In Eugene, Ore., Justin Herbert threw for 309 yards and three touchdowns and Oregon beat San Jose State. Freshman Cyrus Habibi-Likio scored on both of his carries and Johnny Johnson III caught a pair of touchdown passes to help Oregon win its 23rd straight nonconference game at Autzen Stadium. Josh Love completed 15 of 31 passes for 238 yards and a score for San Jose State (0-3).
No. 9 Stanford 30, UC Davis 10 • In Stanford, Calif., K.J. Costello overcame a rough start to throw two touchdown passes to JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Stanford beat FCS-level UC Davis. Costello threw interceptions on two of the first three drives of the game for the Cardinal (3-0) before settling in a bit against the overmatched Aggies (2-1).
Colorado 45, New Hampshire 14 • In Boulder, Colo., Travon McMillian rushed for 162 yards and two scores and Colorado beat New Hampshire. Steven Montez was 14 of 19 for 166 yards passing and another score to help the Buffaloes (3-0) win their home opener.
Washington St. 59, E. Washington 24 • In Pullman, Wash., Gardner Minshew threw for 470 yards, James Williams ran for three touchdowns, and Washington State beat Eastern Washington to avenge a 2016 loss to its FCS neighbor. Tay Martin caught 13 passes for 149 yards for Washington State, which piled up 565 yards of offense.