PASADENA, Calif. — – Caleb Williams bolstered Southern California’s effort to get a spot for the College Football Playoff with the most important game ever played by him against the Trojans who are their arch-rival.
He could also be required the option of booking trips in New York next month as Heisman Trophy finalist.
Williams scored fifty3 total yards. He also recorded three touchdowns on Saturday night, the seventh-ranked Trojans defeated No. 16 UCLA 48-45 in the Saturday night game to advance to the Pac-12 Championship game.
“If you told me last year where we’d be now, I’d call you a dead liar,” wide receiver Kyle Ford said.
The Trojans (10-1 8-1) have won their first game of the season against an opponent that is ranked. They’ll wait to see who their opponent is in December. 2. in Las Vegas for the conference title.
“It’s obviously very, very meaningful,” USC coach Lincoln Riley said. “With all that was riding on it on top of that, it was a clutch performance by our football team to get it done.”
Williams finished 32-of 43 pass attempts, gaining 297 yards, with the two scores and even an interception. Williams also ran through the air for 33 yards, and scored. It was the second-highest number of passing yards for the USC quarterback in the 92 editions in the Crosstown Showdown.
“I’ve played in two other games that were competitors and I came into this game hoping for similar results. You have to perform your job and perform your job to the highest level and keep continue to swing,” Riley said.
In the initial match-up, where two LA schools were ruled by the same Black quarterback Williams beat his UCLA rival Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
The fifth-year senior scored the entire six Bruins touchdowns as well as the total of 384 yards however, he also committed four turnovers (three interceptions and one fumble) which the Trojans turned in 10 points.
“Obviously, I feel disappointment, a lot of it on myself,” Thompson-Robinson stated. “At the quarterback position, can’t have (four) turnovers and win the game, it’s just not acceptable.”
The Trojans scored a record-setting number of 648 total yards. Williams made passes to nine players, however his top receiver is Jordan Addison, who had 11 receptions and an impressive 178 yards and one touchdown.
Williams game was just the most recent in a string of outstanding games that have propelled Williams into Heisman Award consideration. In his five most recent contests, Williams has 2,027 yards of total offense. He also scored 23 touchdowns.
“We played against as good a quarterback as I’ve faced in my college career, watching what Caleb did tonight, so I would give Caleb a lot of credit and say he’s a heck of a quarterback,” UCLA coach Chip Kelly said.
USC was down 14-0 before getting back on track. USC was down 14-0 before rallying. Trojans scored on 8 of 9 drives, with five in a row after they failed to score on their initial three drives.
UCLA (8-3 5-3) had the ball with just 2:21 left when they forced USC to punt, giving them an opportunity to beat the clock or cause overtime. The Bruins made it to midfield, but their chances of winning the game evaporated after Thompson-Robinson’s pass was intercepted by Korey Foreman in midfield, just 1:26 into the game.
Thompson-Robinson made 23 of 38 for 309 yards, and he also scored four touchdowns passing. He also ran for 75 yards and two scores.
After Jones’s 8-yard drive brought the Trojans close to 21,17, UCLA had the ball. They were trying to get one more score before halftime. Along with receiving the ball prior to the beginning of the second quarter.
The events didn’t go according plans.
Thompson-Robinson was intercepted twice during the final 1:42 in the first quarter. USC could score with the second interception when Denis Lynch connected from 49 yards to bring the Trojans just 21-20 at halftime.
Nicholas Barr-Mira’s 46-yard field kick during the opening second-half drive increased the Bruins advantage to four, before Williams made contact with Addison to score a 35-yard touchdown to give the Trojans in the lead 27-24.
The USC defense threw up its third turnover in the middle of the third quarter. Tyrone Taleni sacked Thompson-Robinson and forced a fumble that ended up being returned by Latrell McCutchin in UCLA 9. UCLA 9. A couple of minutes after, Jones scored up the middle with a 2 yard run to increase the Trojans advantage to double-digits.
USC: There were worries following Travis Dye’s season-ending injury last week , that the Trojans were going to struggle when it came to running. However, Austin Jones picked up the gap with a season-high of 100 yards, and two touchdowns.
UCLA UCLA Bruins defense has faced problems in the last two weeks, especially in stopping the passing game of an opponent. They have allowed four passes of minimum 35 yards.
The Trojans may try to bid to be in the top five teams following this win, while Bruins are determined to hold on to their position.
USC: Hosts No. 18 Notre Dame next Saturday.
UCLA: Travels to California on Friday.