Riley tabs Moss clear favorite in USC’s QB race

  • Paolo Uggetti, ESPNApr 20, 2024, 06:20 PM ET LOS ANGELES– After a spring game that included 4 interceptions by USC’s 3 quarterbacks, head coach Lincoln Riley stated Saturday that longtime backup Miller Moss is the front-runner in the competitors to replace outbound Heisman winner Caleb Williams under center.

    “He’s definitely ahead right now, there’s no question about that,” Riley said. “We’re in a position right now where we don’t need to name a starter. … If we played today, it would definitely be Miller.”

    Moss, who has been at USC given that 2021 and invested the previous two years behind Williams, tossed two interceptions Saturday, but Riley competed that he was still pleased with Moss’ overall performance and praised his play during the Trojans’ spring camp.

    “He’s been incredible,” Riley said of Miller. “He’s dipped into a really high level.”

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    1 Related Saturday was Moss’ very first on-field performance given that his record-breaking six-touchdown game against Louisville in last year’s Holiday Bowl. Moss’ display in that game sufficed that Riley and USC’s staff felt compelled to get just a more youthful quarterback from the transfer portal and not seek out an older, multiyear transfer too. Entering into the spring game, the expectation was that Moss had the within track on the beginning job, and Riley verified as much after the game Saturday.

    “I do not think my mentality or method has been predicated on what [Riley] states about the quarterback position,” Moss said regarding his status as the preferred for the position.Since the start of spring camp, Moss has actually had to adjust to a new function. Without Williams as the de facto leader, Moss has actually needed to balance out his newfound leadership on the group with his own development. Riley explained that Moss was sluggish to begin camp, having a couple of practices that were not up to his level, however then rapidly bounced back and was “lights out all spring.” “It’s not that you have success when and after that it’s all easy after

    that,”Moss stated.”There’s ups and downs of this thing, so there’s going to be more adversity showing up this year, and I feel like we’re fully equipped to manage that.”Behind Moss, sophomore Jayden Maiava, who transferred from UNLV after a 3,000-yard freshman season, is” improving rapidly,”according to Riley, but needs more time to settle into the offense and the team.”It’s a climb for him today,”Riley said.”He’s a hard employee, he’s a talented kid. He improves every day, and you can simply see the wires connecting a bit more.”No matter who lines up under center in the fall, on Saturday, Riley gushed about the development and growth– actually– of the offensive line who will be safeguarding the Trojans’ starting quarterback.”I do think we’re going to have the ability, it feels like right now, to move more individuals off of the ball than possibly we have actually had in the very first two years, “Riley stated.” We got a bit more mass, a little bit more sort of girth with us. We are starting to look more like you seem like the O-line at USC all it look like. And I think that’s very exciting. “

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