Despite the Longhorns’ 27-24 loss in double overtime to then-No. 4 USC on Saturday night at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, junior safety DeShon Elliott was named Big 12 defensive player of the week on Monday.
Elliott asserted his will throughout the game against the Trojans, picking off USC quarterback Sam Darnold twice, including returning one for a touchdown right before halftime. Elliott nearly had a third interception as well. The junior safety also tallied seven tackles and two pass breakups.
“He played really well,” defensive coordinator Todd Orlando said on Wednesday. “He played really, really hard. I’m really proud of that kid because he took some — and just like myself — he took a lot of heat in Maryland. He didn’t play well. He didn’t play well at all. So he came back, and he was really dialed in.”
Elliott was a key reason why Texas saw success on the defensive side of the ball on Saturday. The Longhorns held a high-powered USC offense to just 17 points in regulation. USC had scored 49 and 42 points in its first two games. Texas also held the Trojans to just 71 yards on the ground, averaging a meager 1.9 yards per carry.