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Aaron Carrara

Staff Predictions - Texas vs. USC

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Can the Longhorns put the pieces together and avenge its double overtime loss to USC last season?

USATSI_10285931_168380999_lowres.jpg

 

Daniel Seahorn (1-1)

It can’t be overstated how critical of a game this is for Texas. The Longhorns need momentum and confidence as they head into a brutal portion of their schedule, and a second consecutive loss to the Trojans could be the start of a downward spiral.

Last year in this matchup, the Longhorns came up just short on the road in a hostile environment with a freshman quarterback at the helm. This year the script could be flipped with USC heading into Austin with freshman JT Daniels making his third career start and coming off a tough outing against Stanford. Todd Orlando and his defensive staff need to make sure they don’t allow the former five-star signal caller get comfortable early, needing to get his head swimming with some disguised coverages and pressures.

The Texas offense SHOULD be able to move the ball on the ground against the Trojans, as they have not fared well so far this year in that department. Not having Keaontay Ingram this week stings because there is a chance he could have been set up for a nice night at the office. Tre Watson and Daniel Young will have to carry the mail on Saturday and help give the offense some balance and open up the play-action shots down the field to LJ Humphrey and Collin Johnson. Most importantly, Sam Ehlinger will need to take care of the football and not give the Trojans extra chances to win. There is no Sam Darnold or Ronald Jones on the other sideline this year, but that doesn’t mean the Trojans don’t have talent on the roster.

This is a game that both programs desperately need, with both having less than stellar starts to the year. Texas comes in favored, but I don’t have the highest level of confidence predicting it in their favor, but at the same time I won’t be surprised if they get up for this game and pull off a victory. This is a coin flip for me, but until proven otherwise I can’t call it for Texas. They will have to show me they can come Saturday.

Prediction: USC 28, Texas 24

Jameson McCausland (1-1)

Texas needs this game badly. The Longhorns can not afford to fall at home to USC or they could be staring a 1-5 record to start the season right in the face. The forecast in Austin calls for rain most of the night, so this may be an ugly defensive battle. Fortunately, this likely plays into the Longhorns favor.

JT Daniels is beat up and it doesn’t help that he hasn’t set the world on fire in his first two starts, anyway. Texas bullied the USC offensive line a season ago, the same line that returned 4 of 5 starters this season.

I think Texas wins this game with strong defense and a few key plays from Sam Ehlinger, who quietly had a good game against Tulsa.

Prediction: Texas 21, USC 17

Aaron Carrara (1-1)

Both Texas and USC are in the middle of an identity crisis.  And through two games I would have to say that both teams look bad.  However, Texas showed us something during game 3 last season, when they took 4th ranked USC to double overtime in Los Angeles.  Can Texas get up for this one?  USC’s defense will likely cause fits for an improving Texas offensive line and quarterback Sam Ehlinger, but the Longhorns will return the favor to true freshman Trojan quarterback JT Daniels.  Texas needs Ehlinger to limit passing mistakes, and with Keaontay Ingram out, running back Tre Watson and the running back corps need to have success on the ground.

Texas and Tom Herman are feeling the pressure to win, and I think the Longhorns squeak this one out at home.

Prediction:  Texas 31, USC 27

Harrison Wier (1-1)

Football is an unpredictable game. So unpredictable, in fact, that last weekend Texas paid the Tulsa Golden Hurricane $1.1 million to squeak by with a 7-point victory. Fortunately, this week should be a little easier to predict.

It is no secret that both USC and Texas are going through adversity. USC is on the brink of what appears to be a rebuild year, and Texas is trying desperately to keep its fans from hitting the panic button. In order to do that, Texas will have to effectively move the ball on offense and get to the quarterback on defense — two things that have not been accomplished thus far in 2018 by the Longhorns.

Unfortunately, I don’t see that changing on Saturday. The Texas defense does not look like the unit from last year and the offense does not have a consistent point of attack — and when it does — the personnel or play-calling is often shifted away from what’s working.

Although USC is also having an extremely down year thus far, I just don’t see the Longhorns putting it all together on Saturday. As Daniel iterated, I have to see it before I believe it. And I don’t think Texas is ready to show and tell just yet.

Prediction: USC 27, Texas 17

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1 minute ago, Aaron Carrara said:

Can the Longhorns put the pieces together and avenge its double overtime loss to USC last season?

USATSI_10285931_168380999_lowres.jpg

 

Daniel Seahorn (1-1)

It can’t be overstated how critical of a game this is for Texas. The Longhorns need momentum and confidence as they head into a brutal portion of their schedule, and a second consecutive loss to the Trojans could be the start of a downward spiral.

Last year in this matchup, the Longhorns came up just short on the road in a hostile environment with a freshman quarterback at the helm. This year the script could be flipped with USC heading into Austin with freshman JT Daniels making his third career start and coming off a tough outing against Stanford. Todd Orlando and his defensive staff need to make sure they don’t allow the former five-star signal caller get comfortable early, needing to get his head swimming with some disguised coverages and pressures.

The Texas offense SHOULD be able to move the ball on the ground against the Trojans, as they have not fared well so far this year in that department. Not having Keaontay Ingram this week stings because there is a chance he could have been set up for a nice night at the office. Tre Watson and Daniel Young will have to carry the mail on Saturday and help give the offense some balance and open up the play-action shots down the field to LJ Humphrey and Collin Johnson. Most importantly, Sam Ehlinger will need to take care of the football and not give the Trojans extra chances to win. There is no Sam Darnold or Ronald Jones on the other sideline this year, but that doesn’t mean the Trojans don’t have talent on the roster.

This is a game that both programs desperately need, with both having less than stellar starts to the year. Texas comes in favored, but I don’t have the highest level of confidence predicting it in their favor, but at the same time I won’t be surprised if they get up for this game and pull off a victory. This is a coin flip for me, but until proven otherwise I can’t call it for Texas. They will have to show me they can come Saturday.

Prediction: USC 28, Texas 24

Jameson McCausland (1-1)

Texas needs this game badly. The Longhorns can not afford to fall at home to USC or they could be staring a 1-5 record to start the season right in the face. The forecast in Austin calls for rain most of the night, so this may be an ugly defensive battle. Fortunately, this likely plays into the Longhorns favor.

JT Daniels is beat up and it doesn’t help that he hasn’t set the world on fire in his first two starts, anyway. Texas bullied the USC offensive line a season ago, the same line that returned 4 of 5 starters this season.

I think Texas wins this game with strong defense and a few key plays from Sam Ehlinger, who quietly had a good game against Tulsa.

Prediction: Texas 21, USC 17

Aaron Carrara (1-1)

Both Texas and USC are in the middle of an identity crisis.  And through two games I would have to say that both teams look bad.  However, Texas showed us something during game 3 last season, when they took 4th ranked USC to double overtime in Los Angeles.  Can Texas get up for this one?  USC’s defense will likely cause fits for an improving Texas offensive line and quarterback Sam Ehlinger, but the Longhorns will return the favor to true freshman Trojan quarterback JT Daniels.  Texas needs Ehlinger to limit passing mistakes, and with Keaontay Ingram out, running back Tre Watson and the running back corps need to have success on the ground.

Texas and Tom Herman are feeling the pressure to win, and I think the Longhorns squeak this one out at home.

Prediction:  Texas 31, USC 27

Harrison Wier (1-1)

Football is an unpredictable game. So unpredictable, in fact, that last weekend Texas paid the Tulsa Golden Hurricane $1.1 million to squeak by with a 7-point victory. Fortunately, this week should be a little easier to predict.

It is no secret that both USC and Texas are going through adversity. USC is on the brink of what appears to be a rebuild year, and Texas is trying desperately to keep its fans from hitting the panic button. In order to do that, Texas will have to effectively move the ball on offense and get to the quarterback on defense — two things that have not been accomplished thus far in 2018 by the Longhorns.

Unfortunately, I don’t see that changing on Saturday. The Texas defense does not look like the unit from last year and the offense does not have a consistent point of attack — and when it does — the personnel or play-calling is often shifted away from what’s working.

Although USC is also having an extremely down year thus far, I just don’t see the Longhorns putting it all together on Saturday. As Daniel iterated, I have to see it before I believe it. And I don’t think Texas is ready to show and tell just yet.

Prediction: USC 27, Texas 17

Agree. So far this season UT looks like a cluster F***.

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If this team rises to the occasion and crushes USC I will be happy and you will not hear any crap about USC not being good. 

We have many times said that our team can’t win or crush the teams that we should be able to. So if we crush them then I will be happy and optimistic for next week. Next week is the real test.

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1 hour ago, MBHORNSFAN said:

over 70 recruits attending. If Herman does not have the team ready play and USC rolls you can say good night to recruiting and his tenure at TExas.

That's a tad bit premature. I know Texas fans are angry, but if you don't give a coach more than two years Texas will never revert to what it once was. 

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11 minutes ago, Harrison Wier said:

That's a tad bit premature. I know Texas fans are angry, but if you don't give a coach more than two years Texas will never revert to what it once was. 

Yes, Herman will get at least a third year... But, lose the recruits and the fat lady is warming up.  Horns have some young talent and some positions where there is still a void in talent.  A top 2019 recruiting class is imperative if Horns are going to return to national prominence.  Lose to USC and Horns are likely looking at 1-5.  And, the "1" wasn't impressive.  So, bringing in a stellar group of recruits in 2019, will be extremely difficult and unlikely.    IMHO... MBHORNSFAN comment is not premature. Actually, probably "right on".  Gotta remember that these kids being recruited can't even recall when UT was a national player.  Yep, for us old Orange Bloods it hurts, but the truth is.... Texas is no longer a shiny new toy....  Herman / Horns must win this game...and then win some more.  the lustre of a victory over Trojans will be lost if Horns lose 2 of next 3 or lose all 3.  For Herman to enjoy a long-term UT tenure, 2019 must be another bumper-crop of talent.  2018 recruits may win some game in 2019, but not enough talent infusion to bring UT back to the upper echelon of college football. 

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47 minutes ago, OrangeLarry said:

Yes, Herman will get at least a third year... But, lose the recruits and the fat lady is warming up.  Horns have some young talent and some positions where there is still a void in talent.  A top 2019 recruiting class is imperative if Horns are going to return to national prominence.  Lose to USC and Horns are likely looking at 1-5.  And, the "1" wasn't impressive.  So, bringing in a stellar group of recruits in 2019, will be extremely difficult and unlikely.    IMHO... MBHORNSFAN comment is not premature. Actually, probably "right on".  Gotta remember that these kids being recruited can't even recall when UT was a national player.  Yep, for us old Orange Bloods it hurts, but the truth is.... Texas is no longer a shiny new toy....  Herman / Horns must win this game...and then win some more.  the lustre of a victory over Trojans will be lost if Horns lose 2 of next 3 or lose all 3.  For Herman to enjoy a long-term UT tenure, 2019 must be another bumper-crop of talent.  2018 recruits may win some game in 2019, but not enough talent infusion to bring UT back to the upper echelon of college football. 

Sad but true unless Herman coaches his ass off in the second half, and sadly we haven't seen any evidence of him doing that (yet, I hope).

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12 hours ago, OrangeLarry said:

Yes, Herman will get at least a third year... But, lose the recruits and the fat lady is warming up.  Horns have some young talent and some positions where there is still a void in talent.  A top 2019 recruiting class is imperative if Horns are going to return to national prominence.  Lose to USC and Horns are likely looking at 1-5.  And, the "1" wasn't impressive.  So, bringing in a stellar group of recruits in 2019, will be extremely difficult and unlikely.    IMHO... MBHORNSFAN comment is not premature. Actually, probably "right on".  Gotta remember that these kids being recruited can't even recall when UT was a national player.  Yep, for us old Orange Bloods it hurts, but the truth is.... Texas is no longer a shiny new toy....  Herman / Horns must win this game...and then win some more.  the lustre of a victory over Trojans will be lost if Horns lose 2 of next 3 or lose all 3.  For Herman to enjoy a long-term UT tenure, 2019 must be another bumper-crop of talent.  2018 recruits may win some game in 2019, but not enough talent infusion to bring UT back to the upper echelon of college football. 

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