USC Fans Hype Caleb Williams' Heisman Trophy Candidacy After Strong Debut vs. Rice

Erin WalshSeptember 4, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 03: Caleb Williams #13 of the USC Trojans during warm up before the game against the Rice Owls at United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 03, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Caleb Williams and the USC Trojans started off the 2022 campaign on a high note, defeating the Rice Owls 66-14 on Saturday at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The game marked Williams' first-ever start for the Trojans. The 19-year-old, who spent his freshman season at Oklahoma, entered the transfer portal in January, shortly after it was announced that the Trojans had hired Lincoln Riley as their next head coach.

Riley had spent five seasons as head coach of the Sooners from 2017 to 2021, and he coached Williams as a freshman. Williams played 11 games for Oklahoma last season, completing 64.5 percent of his passes for 1,912 yards and 21 touchdowns against four interceptions. He also rushed for 442 yards and six scores.

Williams announced his commitment to USC in February.

In his debut game with USC, Williams completed 19 of 22 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 68 yards. With the Trojans up 59-14, he was replaced by backup quarterback Miller Moss in the fourth quarter.

After just one start with the Trojans, fans believe Williams has what it takes to be a Heisman Trophy candidate this season as the best player in college football.

Alex Shapiro @AlexShapiroNBCS

I’m ready to give Caleb Williams the Heisman after one half of SC football

Coco ゴジラ 🇵🇪 🇩🇪 @cocopower430

Caleb Williams is gonna win the Heisman and carry this atrocious defense to the PAC-12 championship he’s unreal 👀 <a href="https://t.co/BRMj2hSdgq">pic.twitter.com/BRMj2hSdgq</a>

Justin Sansonetti @Sansonetti15

Caleb Williams for Heisman 😭 🙏<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USCFootball?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USCFootball</a>

PAC @MJG__13

Caleb Williams will be a Heisman Finalist. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FightOn?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FightOn</a>

Chopper @Cheylove14369

Caleb Williams should be the Heisman bet. He’s gonna put up INSANE stats this year bruh

lilSutra @LilSutra

Pretty sure I said this when he transferred. But Caleb Williams is my dark horse heisman.

Kris 🏁🐍 @Hazuree24

Caleb Williams for HEISMAN

Browniee_562 @browniee_562

Lincoln Riley and the Trojans looking good so far in the first drive of the season , Caleb Williams gonna be the Dark Horse for the Heisman 👀 ? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FightOn?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FightOn</a>

Josh @TheRealJosh05

That's my heisman winner Caleb Williams

littleVATO @iamVat0

caleb williams is HIm just give him the Heisman now

InsideUSC @InsideUSC

Caleb Williams' Heisman campaign off to an excellent start: Passed for 249 yards with 2 TDs and rushed for 68 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USC?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USC</a>

Slimy Knows @slimy_jack30

Heisman Candidates at end of year? <br><br>Anthony Richardson<br>Bryce Young <br>CJ Stroud <br>Blake Shapen <br>Caleb Williams <br>Will Rogers<br><br>Be hard to top these QB’s

While Williams began the season on a high note, it's going to be tough for him to compete for the Heisman alongside some of college football's top players, including Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, the 2021 Heisman winner, and Ohio State signal-caller C.J. Stroud.

Alabama edge-rusher Will Anderson Jr., Texas running back Bijan Robinson, Ohio State running back TreVeyon Henderson and Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba could also be in the Heisman conversation.