USC vs. Texas score: Longhorns dominate No. 22 Trojans with impressive second half

Texas needed a big win to get some heat off of coach Tom Herman's back. And a big win -- the 900th in the illustrious history of the program -- the Longhorns got in the form of a 37-14 beatdown of the No. 22 USC Trojans

The final score didn't reflect how tight things were for the first half. USC jumped out to a 14-3 lead after the first quarter but the Longhorns responded by chipping away at the lead and taking a 16-14 halftime advantage. 

That's when the floodgates opened. After scoring on its first offensive possession of the third quarter, Texas took a 50-yard blocked punt back for a touchdown to go up 30-13. Texas capped off the 21-point third quarter with a four-yard touchdown run by quarterback Sam Ehlinger

It wasn't a perfect performance by Texas. Play-calling continues to be a puzzle for this offense. A lot of Ehlinger's passes were difficult throws downfield when there was space in the more intermediate part of the field. The running game only began asserting itself later as USC wore down, too. But it's a win for Herman, and he needed one in the worst way. 

It doesn't matter a ton that USC has a lot of questions. The special teams were bad -- the Trojans had shanked punts, a roughing the kicker penalty and the aforementioned blocked punt -- and the offense had no ground game with just six yards rushing. That doesn't help freshman quarterback JT Daniels, making just his second career road start. USC is now 1-2 and certainly doesn't look like a team ready to compete for a Pac-12 championship. 

Herman will take it, though. After a horrid start to the season with a loss to Maryland and a tighter-than-necessary game with Tulsa, Texas needed something good. There's no rest for the weary, though, with TCU coming to Austin next. USC gets Washington State on a short week. The Trojans have also lost back-to-back games by double digits. 

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CBS Sports Writer

Ben Kercheval joined CBS Sports in 2016 and has been covering college football since 2010. Before CBS, Ben worked at Bleacher Report, UPROXX Sports and NBC Sports. As a long-suffering North Texas graduate,... Full Bio

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