Williams’ Heisman display carries USC to win
1:37 AM ET Paolo UggettiESPN LOS ANGELES– Caleb Williams has actually had better nights statistically. He’s scored more goals, passed for more lawns and completed more passes in other contests. However on Saturday night versus a stout Notre Dame defense in prime-time television, Williams showed why the story of his season needs a three-dimensional explanation.Despite the fact that his numbers are breaking USC single-season records, throughout an important 37-28 win over Notre Dame that kept USC in the
playoff hunt, Williams solidified his position as a Heisman front-runner by showing, not telling.On his most significant phase to this point, the sophomore quarterback danced, spun, skirted and averted everything the Irish defense threw his way.
Williams turned near sacks into explosive, downfield plays and potential disasters into highlights. The outcome was a dazzling performance that had the Coliseum looking at every play before fans broke into chants of “Heisman” in unison. “That’s what occurs when you have a Heisman quarterback,”running back Austin Jones stated.”I indicate, it was unbelievable. “Williams finished with 4 touchdowns on the night– three of them rushing– with 232 passing yards and a QBR of 97.6, his highest of the season.At various points this season, Williams has shown
how efficient and explosive he can be with his arm, but the story on Saturday was how elusive he can also be with his legs. The Irish’s protective line made their method into the backfield lots of times, but aside from one sack, Williams had the ability to stay upright and avoid any miscues. The previous Oklahoma quarterback didn’t truly toss it away either– he just had 4 incompletions.Instead, he always discovered a way to offer a receiver an opportunity to catch one, or put his head down and do it on his own.” I have actually obviously seen him do this a lot,”Lincoln Riley said postgame, before joking that he only did not like one decision he made: the sack.”I believe there’s just a trust since a high percentage of the time he makes the right play on it.” The trust Riley and Williams have between each other has helped produce a dream-like season that has USC at 11-1 with an opportunity to win a conference title and earn a playoff berth. It’s a striking turn-around from what was a 4-8 season for the Trojans last season.
Having a Heisman competitor in Williams has actually been an important part of it all, however Williams has actually tried to not lean into the chatter. This week, nevertheless, it’s been inevitable.”It’s type of like, everybody lets everybody else talk about it,”Jones said. “We do not truly talk about it, but we all know. I suggest, I’ll speak about it today, I think he’s the best player in the country. “Previously this week, USC released a video campaign
online while Williams ‘teammates waxed poetic about him at practice. On Saturday, USC played the video on the jumbotron prior to the game, prompting fans to get out the fan choose Williams, who revealed at least some recommendation of the award throughout the game. On his two touchdown runs of the night, Williams struck the Heisman position not once, however three times.When asked postgame about the pose, Williams deflected, saying his teammates urged him to do it so he obliged. At one point, wide receiver Jordan Addison mimicked positioning a crown on Williams’head on the sidelines. “He’s the one, so I had to crown him myself, “Addison stated.” The larger the phase is, the bigger he’s going to play.” Addison has mentioned formerly how much USC’s offense practices those rushing plays in practice. The mentality that every ability player and offensive lineman has had to adopt is basic: You never ever understand where Williams
is going to go, however you understand the play is never ever over when the ball is in his hands. On Saturday, every 3rd play appeared
to have a scramble. At one point during one play, Williams’back was dealing with the rest of his team as he was practically reduced by a Notre Dame defender before turning the play into a 20-yard gain. “It’s tiring,”Jones said with a smile of the rushing. “I’m like ‘bro, where are you going to go?’ “It’s not simply the escape that Williams makes look simple. It’s the ensuing toss– which frequently needs to be on the run and throughout his body– or occurring run where he turns a bad play into a fantastic one.”Prolonged plays become part of football,” Williams stated.” My father always talks about it,’take off, remove, remove.’ “It’s those instincts that have kept drives and games alive for USC all season and
now have them on the precipice of accomplishing not simply private awards however team success too. Williams, more than most of the players on his group, is keenly familiar with that.”Last year I came from a team that we got to parts of the season and we ended up pretty well,” Williams stated. “But most of the people here didn’t know what this feeling was, getting to the latter part and being in position to do something you constantly dreamed of … The time is right now.”After the game, Williams basked in the environment. He made a lap around the Coliseum, signed autographs for kids, took photos and welcomed his father, Carl, in the stands
, who appeared to understand what everybody else realized on Saturday night: the Heisman prize is within Williams ‘grasp.The last tally on Williams’ regular season is 3,712 passing lawns and 44 total touchdowns with only three interceptions. But whatever highlight reel they play during the Heisman ceremony in New york city City will do more to state his case for the sport’s top private award than any mix of numbers can.