TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, FOX.
The stakes were not as high as the last time the two teams met, but the late-game drama was certainly close. So many of Darnold's fellow college QBs live on the perimeter.
The first three possessions of the game ended in fourth-down stops: Texas stopped USC on fourth-and-four at the Longhorns' 37.
Darnold and his Trojans (3-0) earned their own memorable win by outlasting a Texas offense led by Sam Ehlinger, the freshman from Austin who almost engineered a huge win early in coach Tom Herman's debut season with Texas (1-2). Ehlinger and the Longhorn offense struggled for much of the night, but it didn't seem to matter with the performance Texas' defense put together. The same goes for USC. When Helton unexpectedly got the chance to lead the Trojans two years ago, the longtime assistant swiftly brought maturity and continuity to the talent-laden program, and wins have followed.
This wasn't a awful sequel to the first game between Texas and USC since the Longhorns beat USC for the BCS Championship following the 2005 season.
USC is the solid favorite in this matchup after its 42-24 rout of Stanford last week.
"It's wonderful how many mistakes you can overcome with attitude and effort, and we made our fair share of them", Herman said.
"I believed in (Ehlinger)", Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson said.
I think he self-corrected pretty quickly in both of those departments on Saturday, though. He is great in the pocket. At that point, I thought the refs were going to call something. Here are some of the best quotes from the team's postgame availability. Steven Mitchell Jr. and Deontay Burnett caught two touchdown passes each from QB Sam Darnold, who completed 21 of 26 for 316 yards and 3 TDs. The 6-foot-6, 212-pound wideout consistently bailed out quarterback Sam Ehlinger and kept Texas in the game. True freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger played well in overtime but finished just 21/40 passing and turned the ball over three times. The quarterback found running back Ronald Jones II for a score with the clock reading zeroes just before halftime.
The touchdown came two plays after Ehlinger hit Foreman for an 11-yard completion on a 4th-and-10.
The gist of it was this: This year's Texas took the lead on this year's USC with 45 seconds left.
Don't be confused by the accents of these two coaches.
That bunker mentality extends to the Texas quarterbacking. If he can improve his consistency and build off what he did tonight at the L.A. Coliseum, the future looks very bright. The victory gave them their first 3-0 start since 2011. Don't look for Darnold to drop back repeatedly against Texas if he doesn't need to, as the rushing attack figures to be strong enough to help put at least 40 points on the board for a third consecutive game.
McGrath's second field goal in the second overtime arrived after a Texas turnover.
McGrath is a freshman walk-on from Mater Dei.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.