LOS ANGELES– The NO. 6 USC Trojans are on the cusp of reaching the College Football Playoff after soundly knocking off NO.15 Notre Dame, 38-27 at the Coliseum on Saturday, November 26. 72,316 passionate fans witnessed USC improve to 11-1, and will meet the Utah Utes for the PAC-12 Championship on Friday, December 2 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
It was a wild rivalry Saturday, USC caught lucky breaks, such as NO. 3 Michigan Wolverines crushing the NO. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes 45-23. In addition, Clemson and LSU we’re both upset leaving the door wide open for USC to earn one of the four coveted spots in the College Football Playoff.
No superlatives or adjectives can truly describe USC’s quarterback Caleb Williams greatness. After last night’s dazzling performance in which the Sophomore baffled Notre Dame’s defense with four touchdowns, and showed why he will soon be playing on Sundays.
Like a savvy politician, Williams has been on the Heisman campaign trail the past month. The Oklahoma transfer has out lasted the other Heisman hopefuls, he even managed to strike a Heisman pose after a touchdown throw.
Williams is often compared to NFL superstar Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and for good reason. Williams like Mahomes- is extremely adept at improvising while evading intense pressure- keeping the play alive long enough to hurl it to an open receiver.
Senior running back Austin Jones had 154 yards, he has done a superb job of replacing injured RB Travis Dye against their two biggest foes. He surpassed 100 yards rushing for the second consecutive week in the victory. Even the Trojans defense, which has been the Achilles heel for the program, provided clutch plays and bottled up Notre Dame’s fierce rushing attack.
USC only had four wins last season, then Lincoln Riley comes to town and the USC Trojans are back on the national stage in one season. Riley ties the school record for wins by a head coach in his first year, matching USC legendary head coach John Robinson in 1976.
“It’s been a tremendous run, but there’s obviously a lot more left there for us,” said Riley. “So we’ve got to enjoy it but put it to bed here quickly.”
Notre Dame made a spirited second half comeback. Trailing 31-21 with only 6:03 left on the clock, USC defensive back Calen Bullock jumped in front of a pass and pulled down the interception. William sealed the victory with a 16-yd scramble to the end zone.
NO. 14 Utah also got outside help to reach this point. First, Oregon State beat the Oregon Ducks, 38-34, the Washington Huskies also defeated the Washington State Cougars.
Needing the probable and remarkable outcomes to set the stage for this classic Pac-12 title game, everything fell into place.. It will be a rematch of the epic 43-42 Utah win in Salt Lake City.
The Pac-12 Football Championship will kick off at 5:00 p.m. from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, the game will air on Fox.