Tulane earned a shocking upset over USC in the Cotton Bowl, but Caleb Williams still put on a show in the 46-45 loss.
The Heisman Trophy winner set a new Cotton Bowl record with five touchdown passes, totaling 460 yards on 36-of-51 passing.
His mobility in the pocket was especially impressive on multiple eye-catching plays.
Though the quarterback isn't eligible for the 2023 NFL draft, Williams' play has fans already looking ahead to 2024 with the possibility of tanking all next season to get the No. 1 pick.
Tim Thorsen @mustardbased
Beginning to think <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/broncos?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#broncos</a> should have kept Hackett another year so they could be first in line for Caleb Williams. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CottonBowl?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CottonBowl</a>
Many fans were already comparing Williams to NFL MVP favorite Patrick Mahomes.
Shad Powers 😷 @shad_powers
People compare a lot of quarterbacks to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/patrickmahomes?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#patrickmahomes</a> incorrectly, but Caleb Williams at USC plays almost identically to Mahomes style-wise. Feels to me like he will be an NFL game-changer, too.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CottonBowl?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CottonBowl</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/uscfootball?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@uscfootball</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/CALEBcsw?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CALEBcsw</a>
Jonathan Cisowski @cisow77
Watching Caleb Williams talent, arm strength, and scrambling is just another version of 'Patrick Mahomes 2.0' but bigger <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CottonBowl?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CottonBowl</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/uscfb?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@uscfb</a>
It's high praise, but the upside is apparent after a dominant 2022 season after transferring from Oklahoma. Williams totaled 4,075 passing yards with 37 touchdowns in 13 games entering the day, throwing just four interceptions. He also added 372 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns, helping him run away with Heisman Trophy voting.
Of course, he can't do it all, and the rest of USC wasn't quite as impressive on Monday.
Tulane averaged 13 yards per pass attempt and nine yards per rush against a Trojans defense that struggled mightily. Add in some special teams mistakes, and the Green Wave were able to overcome a 15-point deficit in the final five minutes.B
But that isn't enough to quiet the hype around Williams, with numerous NFL teams surely dreaming of him becoming their next franchise quarterback.