National reaction: Why some writers think Texas is ‘back’ after overtime loss to USC – Dallas News (blog)

Texas will rue not seizing on an opportunity to knock off a trendy playoff pick in its own building, but the Longhorns showed they’re building on the foundation Herman inherited in Austin. That should become more clear during their run through league play.”

Dan Wolken, USA Today: In his 10 observations column, Wolken said he’s encouraged by Texas’ grit against the Trojans. 

“Even though they lost to USC 27-24 in double overtime, the Longhorns looked great. They looked like they belonged. Their defense was outstanding. And if not for Sam Darnold going 52 yards in 45 seconds (with no timeouts) to get into field goal range at the end of regulation, Texas would have left Los Angeles with a monster win. But is this a real “Texas is back” moment or simply Tom Herman getting his team sky high for big games, as he did constantly at Houston? The Longhorns are only a couple weeks removed from getting beat 51-41 by Maryland, but they looked like a completely different team Saturday. We’ll see going forward, but this seemed like a legitimately good sign for Texas. It’s not as good as USC and it played above its heads Saturday but freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger showed a lot of composure. This kind of performance definitely puts Texas back in the mix as a possible challenger to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in the Big 12.”

George Schroeder, USA Today: Schroeder listed Texas as a ‘winner’ from Saturday’s college football slate — even though the team lost.

“No, the Longhorns didn’t pull off the gigantic upset at USC. But a defense that gave up 51 points to Maryland was downright stingy against the Trojans, including a goal-line stand in the first half. Texas fell to 1-2, and the offensive issues are real, but there’s life in the program.”

Ben Kercheval, CBS Sports: Like Schroeder, Kercheval praised the Longhorns and listed them as a ‘winner/loser.’

“Yeah, Texas lost to USC 27-24. Yeah, the Longhorns had an all-too-familiar, facepalm-worthy defensive lapse right before the end of the first half when they allowed a 56-yard touchdown pass. Tell me you didn’t watch that game and see a night-and-day difference between Week 1 and Week 3, though. The most impressive area of improvement was in run stopping. The Trojans didn’t even average two yards per rush. Defensive tackle Poona Ford had a game with his penetration and run stuffing, and linebacker Malik Jefferson was showing off incredible vision and closing speed. This has been such a liability for Texas over the past few years and it was, from start to finish, the best it’s been in a long time. That’s a positive sign.”

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