Caleb Williams Celebrated as Heisman Frontrunner as USC Holds on to Beat UCLA

Erin WalshNovember 20, 2022

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 19: Caleb Williams #13 of the USC Trojans looks to pass against the UCLA Bruins during the first quarter in the game at Rose Bowl on November 19, 2022 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The No. 7 USC Trojans clinched a spot in the Pac-12 championship game with a 48-45 win over the No. 16 UCLA Bruins on Saturday night at Rose Bowl Stadium and improved to 10-1 on the season.

The Trojans sealed the win when Korey Foreman picked off Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson with 1:26 remaining in the game, but it was quarterback Caleb Williams who stood out above the rest.

Williams completed 32 of 43 passes for 470 yards and two touchdowns against one interception in the win. He also rushed for 32 yards and a score on eight carries.

Following the win, Williams was celebrated as the Heisman Trophy frontrunner on Twitter:

Chris Castellani @Castellani2014

Might be Caleb Williams’ Heisman to lose.

Blake Toppmeyer @btoppmeyer

Prediction: Caleb Williams will win the Heisman Trophy.

Harold R. Kuntz @HaroldRKuntz3

Absolute Classic in LA .. Caleb Williams looks like one of the Heisman Favorites.<br><br>Coming up on <a href="https://twitter.com/fox4kc?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@fox4kc</a> late News:<a href="https://twitter.com/RCFOX4KC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RCFOX4KC</a> is in LA to preview Chiefs-Chargers<br>Highlights from DI, DII -- NAIA Football, MO HS Playoffs, MO Soccer Update and bit more Chiefs.<br><br>Kindly stay up.

Ryan McFadden @ryanmcfadden_

Caleb Williams will be holding the Heisman trophy next month.

Stewart Mandel @slmandel

USC-UCLA delivered in a big way. And this being the first time most of the country watched a USC game this year, methinks Caleb Williams will be shooting up Heisman lists this week.

George Stoia III @GeorgeStoia

Caleb Williams should win the Heisman.

Alex Barth @RealAlexBarth

Caleb Williams may have just made himself the favorite for the Heisman and to go 1/1 in 2024. <br><br>DTR left it all out on the field for his team. Awesome effort, he deserves a ton of respect too.

Dan Wolken @DanWolken

Caleb Williams put himself No. 1 in the Heisman race tonight. USC needs to beat Notre Dame and the winner of Oregon/Utah to make the playoff. Not a bad Year 1 for Lincoln Riley.

Curtis Fitzpatrick @cfitzfox

Caleb Williams probably the Heisman front runner now.

Mike Piellucci @mikelikessports

If Caleb Williams isn’t the Heisman favorite then what are we doing?

Williams has been one of the best quarterbacks in college football this season. He entered Saturday's game having completed 63.7 percent of his passes for 3,010 yards and 31 touchdowns against two interceptions in 10 games, in addition to rushing for 283 yards and six scores.

If Williams is going to win the Heisman, he'll have to put together another impressive performance against the No. 18 Notre Dame Fighting Irish next weekend to close out the season.

Michigan running back Blake Corum and Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud have also been mentioned in the Heisman Trophy race.