Nov 11, 2023; Eugene, Oregon, USA; USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) walks off the field after a game against the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Caleb Williams: ‘Game-time decision’ on 2024 NFL Draft

Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams is undecided about declaring for the 2024 NFL Draft.

The 2022 Heisman Trophy winner told the Los Angeles Times that it will be “a game-time decision.”

The deadline to declare is Jan. 15. The draft is scheduled for April 25-27 in Detroit.

Williams entered this season as the presumptive No. 1 overall pick for 2024. Although his individual numbers were strong, the Trojans took a step back with a 7-5 season.

“I’ve never been in this situation, where I’m 7-5 and there are no playoff hopes at the end of the season,” Williams told the L.A. Times. “I’m dealing with it emotionally, dealing with it spiritually and physically. It’s been one of the most important years I think I’ve had. It’s tricky. I’ve had to have talks with (USC head coach) Lincoln (Riley) — because obviously I haven’t been through it — or with my family members or people like that, just how to deal with this and lead, how to stay the same person I was before the season or after our first loss or second loss.

“So, it was different. It was a learning process.”

Williams has completed 68.6 percent of his passes for 3,633 yards with 30 touchdowns and five interceptions in 12 starts this season.

During his Heisman-winning campaign in 2022, he completed 66.6 percent of his throws for 4,537 yards, 42 TDs and five picks in 14 games. USC started 11-1 before losing to Utah in the Pac-12 championship game and to Tulane in the Cotton Bowl.

–Field Level Media

USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) talks with USC Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley during the first half of the game against No. 6 Oregon Ducks on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore.

Rivals UCLA, USC stumble into final Pac-12 showdown

Los Angeles rivals UCLA and host Southern California meet Saturday in the 93rd installment of their annual series.

Both the Trojans (7-4, 5-3 Pac-12 Conference) and Bruins (6-4, 3-4) come into the matchup — the last before each leaves the Pac-12 for the Big Ten Conference — on losing streaks.

USC dropped its second consecutive game last Saturday, 36-27 at Oregon. The Trojans lost the previous week at home to undefeated Washington, 52-42.

“We’ve been … right on the doorstep of getting it done, but haven’t quite been able to get over the hump here in the second half of the season,” USC coach Lincoln Riley said on his radio show Monday. “When you set out big goals and you go for it, every now and then, you’re going to come up short.”

USC is out of contention for the Pac-12 championship heading into its regular-season finale. Defense has plagued the Trojans throughout their turbulent 2023, with opponents scoring at least 34 points in each of the last seven games.

Defensive coordinator Alex Grinch was dismissed before last week’s visit to Oregon, but USC still gave up passing touchdowns of 77 and 84 yards against the Ducks.

UCLA, meanwhile, has struggled on the other side of the ball in consecutive losses of 27-10 at Arizona on Nov. 4 and 17-7 at home last week to Arizona State.

The Bruins had three consecutive possessions deep in Arizona State territory end without producing any points.

Quarterback injuries have impacted UCLA offensively.

Dante Moore did not play against Arizona State, but Bruins coach Chip Kelly said on Monday he is practicing. The freshman is 91-for-75 on the season for 1,344 yards with 10 TDs but has been intercepted seven times.

Fellow Bruins QB Ethan Garbers is 64-for-94 for 786 yards with six touchdowns and three picks, while Collin Schlee has operated primarily as a ball-carrier when he has been under center.

“They all can throw the ball very well, so that’s not a problem,” UCLA wide receiver Logan Loya said. “Sure, maybe the timing’s a little different, you can say the same thing for the quarterbacks about each receiver, too.”

USC quarterback and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams, meanwhile, is tied with Oregon’s Bo Nix for the second-most passing touchdowns in the country this season with 29. Williams has also rushed for 11 scores.

–Field Level Media

Apr 23, 2022; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans defensive coordinator Alex Grinch during the spring game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Southern California fires DC Alex Grinch

Southern California fired defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, Yahoo Sports reported Sunday.

The Trojans have lost three of their last four games and tumbled out of the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll Sunday afternoon. The most recent dismal showing was a 52-42 home loss to No. 5 Washington on Saturday night.

The Trojans also allowed 48 points in a loss to Notre Dame, 34 in a defeat to Utah and 49 in a one-point win over Cal.

USC ranks No. 121 among 130 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision in scoring defense, yielding 34.5 points per game. The team is 119th in total defense (436 yards allowed per contest).

Grinch, 43, followed head coach Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma to USC ahead of the 2022 season. He had spent three seasons as the Sooners’ defensive coordinator and was co-defensive coordinator at Ohio State in 2018.

–Field Level Media

Nov 4, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Washington Huskies running back Tybo Rogers (20) carries the ball against USC Trojans safety Calen Bullock (7) during the second quarter at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Hui-USA TODAY Sports

Dillon Johnson powers No. 5 Washington past No. 20 USC

Dillon Johnson rushed for career highs of 256 yards and four touchdowns, Michael Penix Jr. passed for two scores and No. 5 Washington remained undefeated with a 52-42 defeat of No. 20 Southern California on Saturday in Los Angeles.

Johnson’s standout performance concluded when he scored his fourth touchdown with 2:20 remaining, giving Washington the first and only two-score advantage either team held in the shootout.

The Huskies (9-0, 6-0 Pac-12) broke the back-and-forth stalemate when, after a 43-yard Grady Gross field goal put Washington ahead 45-42, the defense forced USC to punt for the first time since late in the first quarter.

Voi Tunuufi sacked Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams for a 12-yard loss that pushed USC out of field-goal range, setting the scene for Washington to deliver the decisive blow with its eighth scoring drive of the night.

Johnson broke a 53-yard run on the next offensive play, later carried for another 11 yards down to the goal line, then punched in the touchdown.

Johnson also scored on a 52-yard carry in the second quarter and a pair of short rushes in the first half — the second of which gave Washington its first lead of the game.

Zion Tupuola-Fetui’s strip of Williams deep in USC territory with 67 seconds remaining in the first half led to a Johnson goal-line touchdown carry.

With Washington taking possession to start the second half, the Huskies had an opportunity to open up a two-score lead. They drove to the USC 21-yard line before Eric Gentry’s deflection of a Penix pass turned into a Christian Roland-Wallace interception in the end zone.

USC (7-3, 5-2) forced ties in the second half on Williams touchdown passes of 25 yards to Brenden Rice and 20 yards to Mario Williams.

Caleb Williams also threw a 41-yard touchdown to Tahj Washington in the first half. Caleb Williams finished 27-of-35 passing for 312 yards with the three scores and a fourth touchdown rushing. Darwin Barlow and Raleek Brown each ran for a score for the Trojans.

Penix ended the night 22-of-30 passing for 256 yards, with his touchdown throws going 4 yards to Ja’Lynn Polk and 22 yards to Devin Culp. Penix also rushed for a TD.

Rome Odunze led Washington with 82 yards on five receptions.

Washington paced USC with 122 yards on eight catches. Austin Jones rushed for 127 yards on 11 carries in the loss.

–Field Level Media

Oct 28, 2023; Berkeley, California, USA; USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) drops back to pass against the California Golden Bears during the first quarter at California Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

No. 20 USC out to end No. 5 Washington’s unbeaten season

Looking to continue its perfect season, No. 5 Washington travels to Los Angeles on Saturday for a Pac-12 showdown with 20th-ranked Southern California.

The Huskies (8-0, 5-0 Pac-12) arrive with a streak of four consecutive single-digit victories after holding off Stanford last Saturday, 42-33. The nine-point margin was Washington’s widest over the recent stretch, which also includes wins of 31-24 on Sept. 30 at Arizona; 36-33 on Oct. 14 vs. Oregon; and 15-7 on Oct. 21 vs. Arizona State.

With its positioning in Tuesday’s first College Football Playoff rankings, Washington is just outside the coveted top four needed to earn the first Pac-12 bid to the national semifinals since the 2016 Huskies did so.

The Huskies have won 15 consecutive games, the second-longest active streak among FBS teams behind No. 2 Georgia (25).

Like Washington, USC (7-2, 5-1) has also had its share of nail-biting finishes in recent weeks. That includes a 34-32 loss on a last-second field goal Oct. 21 vs. Utah for the Trojans’ second loss of the season, complicating their aspirations for a playoff bid.

No team has ever made the field with more than one loss, but USC can move into the conference lead with a win on Saturday.

The Trojans’ run of close finishes also include a 43-41, three-overtime defeat of Arizona on Oct. 7, and last weekend’s 50-49 rally from down two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to win at Cal.

USC quarterback Caleb Williams went 23-for-40 for 369 yards with two touchdowns and rushed for a pair of scores vs. the Golden Bears. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner has passed for 25 touchdowns against just four interceptions — three of which came in the Trojans’ Oct. 14 loss at Notre Dame — and has rushed for nine scores on the season.

“Elite playmaker,” Washington coach Kalen DeBoer said of Williams. “(His) eyes are downfield and (he) buys time (using his feet).

“(He) will not be afraid to make any throw on the run, deep down the field, so we’ve got to do a really good job staying on the receivers, or any skill player.”

Williams’ ability to connect with a variety of targets beyond just receivers has been evident the last two weeks with tight end Lake McRee’s uptick in production. McRee caught three passes for 35 yards against Utah, then hauled in four catches for a season-high 71 yards at Cal.

USC’s top two targets, however, are receivers Tahj Washington and Brenden Rice. Washington has 35 receptions for 711 yards and five touchdowns, while Rice has produced 519 yards and nine TDs on 30 receptions.

Washington’s Rome Odunze and Ja’Lynn Polk, meanwhile, rank No. 1 and No. 3, respectively, in the Pac-12 in yards per game with 113.4 and 104.5.

Pass-catchers should play a prominent role in Saturday’s showdown of Heisman hopefuls. As Williams looks to join Ohio State’s Archie Griffin as the only two-time recipients of the award, Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. may be the leading contender to wrest the trophy away.

Penix went 21-of-37 passing for 369 yards with four touchdowns and one interception last Saturday. His nation-leading 368.1 passing yards per game are almost 40 more than the next-most prolific quarterback, and he has thrown 24 touchdowns — third most nationally — for the nation’s ninth-highest scoring offense at 40.4 points per game.

“Runs the offense really, really well,” USC coach Lincoln Riley said of Penix on Monday’s Trojans Live radio show. “You can tell he’s got a lot of experience with Kalen and his system, and you can tell. It shows up.”

USC ranks among the eight teams producing more points per contest than Washington, however, with the nation’s second-leading output of 45.9 per game.

Saturday’s matchup is the first between USC and Washington since 2019, and the first in Los Angeles since 2015. Both were Huskies wins.

–Field Level Media

Oct 21, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) carries the ball against the Utah Utes in the first half at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

No. 24 USC searches for offensive stride against Cal

Cal and No. 24 Southern California both come into their Saturday Pac-12 Conference matchup in Berkeley, Calif., looking to pull out of two-game losing streaks.

USC (6-2, 4-1 Pac-12) followed its first defeat of the 2023 season — a 48-20 rout on Oct. 14 at then-No. 21 Notre Dame — with its first conference loss last week, falling 34-32 to then-No. 14 Utah.

The Trojans fought back from a 14-point, third-quarter deficit to pull ahead 32-31 of the Utes with 1:46 left in the game thanks to an 11-yard touchdown run by reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams. That was the only TD Williams accounted for in the contest.

Utah’s ensuing drive ended with Cole Becker’s 38-yard field goal that sent USC to a fourth consecutive loss against the Utes.

The latest setback all but ended the Trojans’ College Football Playoff aspirations. USC has never reached the four-team field since the CFP’s inception in 2014-15.

“It’s always that one little niche off,” Trojans assistant head coach and offensive passing game coordinator Dennis Simmons said, filling in for coach Lincoln Riley on Monday’s “Trojans Live” radio show. “We may overrun a zone here or not quite be in the right space there or not quite pick up something on a protection. It’s just getting all 11 things to click at the same time.

“From an offensive standpoint, that’s vital. Because if one piece breaks down, it has a chance to muck up the whole picture.”

USC came into the month of October having scored no fewer than 42 points in each of its first five games. The Trojans head to Cal still ranked third nationally in scoring offense among FBS teams at 45.4 points per game but have averaged 26.7 in regulation over the past three contests.

The Trojans went into the first of three overtimes tied at 28 on Oct. 7 in what ended up being a 43-41 win over Arizona.

Cal (3-4, 1-3) is coming off a bye week after also dropping a game to Utah, 34-14 on Oct. 14. That came after a 52-40 shootout setback vs. then-No. 15 Oregon State on Oct. 7.

Golden Bears coach Justin Wilcox said Cal used the extra date, in part, to “get a head start on USC.”

Wilcox believes the Trojans’ defense, which has allowed 30.5 points per game, is better than what the stats show.

“They have excellent edge players. They create a lot of negative plays on their own, either sacks or tackles for loss,” Wilcox said. “They have a guy inside (Bear Alexander) who’s a very, very talented, gifted player.”

A Cal offense that has experienced ups and downs from week to week will not have to see USC’s standout defensive lineman Alexander in the first half. Alexander was penalized for a targeting penalty on Utah’s final drive and will therefore miss the opening two quarters on Saturday.

The Golden Bears’ offense, ranked third in the Pac-12 with 195.4 rushing yards per game behind running back Jaydn Ott, will attempt to take advantage of Alexander’s absence.

Ott averages a conference-leading 100.5 rushing yards per game.

–Field Level Media

Oct 21, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Utah Utes running back Ja'Quinden Jackson (3) carries the ball against the Southern California Trojans in the first half at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

No. 14 Utah sneaks past No. 18 USC on game-winning FG

Bryson Barnes went 14-of-23 passing for 235 yards with three touchdowns, and his 26-yard run set up Cole Becker’s game-winning, 38-yard field goal as time expired to lift No. 14 Utah to a 34-32 win over No. 18 Southern California on Saturday night in Los Angeles.

Utah (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) fell behind 32-31 with 1:46 remaining, moments after Zachariah Branch set up USC in the red zone with a 61-yard punt return.

The Trojans (6-2, 4-1) scored on their first snap of the ensuing possession when Caleb Williams ran 11 yards for a touchdown. It was Williams’ first and only score of the night, as Utah limited the reigning Heisman Trophy winner to 256 yards on 24-of-34 passing and 27 rushing yards.

The Utes denied the Trojans on their two-point conversion attempt before taking over for the game-winning drive.

Bear Alexander was flagged for targeting on a third-down hit on Barnes, resulting in a Utah first down near midfield. Shortly after a fourth-down conversion to extend the drive, Barnes broke loose for the long carry that set up Becker’s game-winning field goal.

Alexander committed another costly penalty, unnecessary roughness, in the third quarter to give Utah a fresh set of downs, which resulted in a 6-yard Barnes TD pass to Landen King.

Barnes’ third touchdown pass came on a 15-yard connection with Sione Vaki, capping a possession that was set up by Cole Bishop’s recovery of a MarShawn Lloyd fumble at the Utah 45. The ensuing 55-yard drive gave Utah a two-touchdown lead at 28-14.

The scoring reception was Vaki’s second of the night after a 53-yarder that began the game’s scoring. Vaki, a safety who stepped in at running back on Saturday, caught five passes for 149 yards.

He added 68 yards rushing on nine carries, complementing Barnes’ 57 yards on 10 rushes and Ja’Quinden Jackson’s game-high 117 yards on 26 touches. Utah outgained USC 247-145 on the ground.

Lloyd led USC with 86 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. Branch scored on a goal-line carry.

USC cut into the two-touchdown deficit with a 44-yard Denis Lynch field goal, then Calen Bullock returned an interception of Barnes 30 yards for a Trojans touchdown.

The USC defense held Utah to a 33-yard Becker field goal on a Utes drive into the red zone, which kept the Trojans within a one-possession margin. Lynch’s 36-yard field goal on the following drive helped set the stage for the raucous finish and late lead changes.

–Field Level Media

Oct 7, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans running back MarShawn Lloyd (0) runs the ball against the Arizona Wildcats during the first half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

No. 9 USC survives in triple-overtime thriller vs. Arizona

Caleb Williams, the reigning Heisman winner, scored on a two-point conversion to start the third overtime as No. 9 USC survived a wild night to beat Arizona 43-41 in triple overtime on Saturday night in Los Angeles.

The Trojans (6-0, 4-0 Pac-12) had their hands full from the start, trailing 17-0 early in the second quarter and failing to win the game on the final play of regulation when a high snap led to a blocked 25-yard field goal attempt.

The winning points came on a crazy play, with most of the offensive line shifted way to the left side of the field. Williams took the snap, rolled right and scrambled to the corner, barely extending the ball over the pylon. Arizona (3-3, 1-2) then was stopped on its two-point try as USC’s Mason Cobb tackled DJ Williams on a toss to the left.

Caleb Williams completed just 14 of 25 passes for 219 yards with a touchdown, but he helped will his team to victory, rushing for three touchdowns, including an 18-yarder to start the overtime periods.

Arizona’s Noah Fifita, making his second career start, completed 25 of 35 passes for 302 yards and five touchdowns, including two in the overtime periods to Jacob Cowing. Both teams missed two-point conversions in the second overtime.

USC, which entered with the nation’s top-scoring offense (53.6 points per game), was outgained 505-351 but held a 28-20 lead in the fourth quarter. Arizona tied the score when Fifita connected with Cowing on a 3-yard touchdown pass on fourth down, followed by a two-conversion throw to Tetairoa McMillan with 8:17 left.

The Wildcats had a chance to take the lead with 2:08 left, but Tyler Loop missed a 50-yard field goal.

The Trojans, who trailed in a game for the first time this season, took their first lead at 21-20 with 5:44 to go in the third quarter after MarShawn Lloyd scored on a 9-yard run. Arizona helped the Trojans with a fourth-down pass interference penalty and a third-down roughing-the-passer infraction during the 75-yard drive.

USC padded its lead early in the fourth quarter when Williams, initially stopped on a quarterback sneak from the 1, squirmed through a tackle and reached the ball across the goal line for a 28-20 advantage.

–Field Level Media

Sep 30, 2023; Boulder, Colorado, USA; Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Shedeur Sanders (2) gets his pass knocked down by USC Trojans linebacker Mason Cobb (13) during the first quarter at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: John Leyba-USA TODAY Sports

No. 9 USC aims for defensive improvement vs. Arizona

No. 9 Southern California features the nation’s highest-scoring offense but continues to have concerns on defense as it heads into a Saturday night Pac-12 game against Arizona in Los Angeles.

The Trojans (5-0, 3-0 Pac-12) are coming off back-to-back weeks in which they let two big underdogs stick around to make things interesting in fourth quarter. USC needed a fourth-quarter touchdown to finally subdue Arizona State 42-28 on Sept. 23 in Tempe, Ariz., and held on last Saturday to win at Colorado 48-41 after holding a 27-point, third-quarter lead.

A leaky defense — ranked 98th nationally in yards allowed (404.4 per game) — is the reason USC has slid from a high of No. 5 in the Associated Press poll despite not losing a game.

Trojans coach Lincoln Riley said his players might have “taken their foot off the gas” against Colorado, adding that he was pleased with how his squad started this week.

“I think our team is learning a lot,” he said. “This Monday practice we just had is one of the best practices we had as a team, period. I know they’re excited to attack the areas we need to attack.”

Arizona (3-2, 1-1) is facing a second consecutive Top 10 opponent after falling 31-24 at home to No. 7 Washington last Saturday. The Wildcats trailed by double digits much of the game but scored a late touchdown before failing to recover an onside kick with about one minute left.

The Wildcats still have uncertainty at quarterback. Jayden de Laura missed last week’s game due to an ankle injury, and Noah Fifita performed well in his first start. Fifita was 27 of 39 for 232 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

De Laura has been turnover-prone: He threw a Pac-12 high 13 interceptions last season, and he has been picked off five times in four games this season. However, coach Jedd Fisch said Monday “it would be a safe statement to make” that de Laura is the starter if healthy. The quarterback’s status will be determined later in the week.

“I’m excited that if Noah is playing this coming week, he gives us a good chance to win,” Fisch said.

Washington’s Michael Penix Jr., a strong 2023 Heisman Trophy contender, completed 30 of 40 passes for 363 yards, albeit without a touchdown, against Arizona. Now the Wildcats face 2022 Heisman winner Caleb Williams, in the midst of another stunning season.

Williams has led USC to an average of 53.6 points per game, completing 105 of 141 passes with 21 touchdowns and one interception. His passing efficiency rating of 217.7 leads the country. Arizona, meanwhile, has not intercepted a pass this season.

Trojans running back MarShawn Lloyd is averaging 86.6 rushing yards per game and 8.3 per carry. A deep group of receivers includes Brenden Rice, who has seven TDs among his 17 receptions; and Dorian Singer, who transferred from Arizona after earning second-team All-Pac-12 honors last season. Singer has 12 catches this season, one of six Trojans with double-digit receptions.

Riley said after Tuesday’s practice that he was “hopeful” to have wide receiver Zachariah Branch and safety Max Williams back for Saturday after they missed last weekend’s game. Branch has a punt return and a kick return for touchdowns this season.

“Both are progressing,” Riley said. “Those are two prominent players for us.”

Singer is one of the three Arizona transfers on the USC roster, the others being cornerback Christian Roland-Wallace (14 tackles, one interception) and defensive lineman Kyon Barrs (four tackles).

USC has a 10-game winning streak in the series, but the matchup is often closer than the oddsmakers expect. Seven of the past 10 games have been decided by no more than one possession, and 13 of the past 16 meetings have ended with a spread of eight points or fewer.

–Field Level Media

Sep 30, 2023; Boulder, Colorado, USA; USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) scrambles for a few yards as he gets chased by Colorado Buffaloes safety Jahquez Robinson (8) during the first quarter at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: John Leyba-USA TODAY Sports

No. 8 USC takes charge early, holds off Colorado

Caleb Williams matched a career high with six touchdown passes and threw for 403 yards to lead No. 8 Southern California to a 48-41 victory over Colorado in Pac-12 play on Saturday afternoon at Boulder, Colo.

Williams completed 30 of 40 passes and was intercepted for the first time this season while raising his season passing touchdown count to 21. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner previously threw six touchdown passes against Texas Tech in 2021 when he played for Oklahoma.

Brenden Rice, a transfer from Colorado, caught two touchdown passes on five receptions for 81 yards for the Trojans (5-0, 3-0 Pac-12). Tahj Washington had eight receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown. Dorian Singer, Mario Williams and Jude Wolfe had scoring catches for USC.

MarShawn Lloyd rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown as USC improved to 17-0 all-time against Colorado.

Shedeur Sanders was 30-of-45 passing for 371 yards, four touchdowns and one interception and rushed for a score for Colorado (3-2, 0-2). Omarion Miller caught seven passes for 196 yards and a touchdown, Jimmy Horn Jr. had seven receptions for 84 yards and two touchdowns and Michael Harrison also had a scoring catch for the Buffaloes.

Colorado was without two-way standout Travis Hunter (lacerated liver) and safety Shilo Sanders (kidney).

The Buffaloes scored the game’s final 20 points and pulled within seven on Shedeur Sanders’ 16-yard scoring pass to Horn with 1:43 left. The ensuing onside kick was covered by USC and the Trojans ran out the clock.

The Trojans scored the game’s first 21 points. Lloyd broke loose for a 27-yard scoring run on the first possession of the game and Williams and Washington teamed up on a 71-yard touchdown play with 2:30 left in the quarter.

Williams hit Singer on an 8-yard scoring throw on the first play of the second quarter. The Buffaloes finally got on the board on Shedeur Sanders’ 30-yard touchdown pass to Horn with 12:59 left in the first half.

Williams threw scoring passes of 24 yards to Mario Williams and 26 yards to Rice to increase the lead to 27 later in the quarter. Shedeur Sanders scored on a 25-yard scramble to bring the Buffaloes within 34-14 with 21 seconds left in the half.

Rice caught a 6-yard pass from Williams with 7:14 left in the third quarter. Colorado answered with Anthony Hankerson’s 2-yard run with 5:50 left in the period.

Williams threw touchdown No. 6 to Wolfe on a 3-yard play to make it 48-21 with 2:14 left in the third quarter. The Buffaloes answered on Shedeur Sanders’ 21-yard touchdown throw to Harrison with 1:03 left.

Jaylen Ellis intercepted Caleb Williams with 53 seconds left in the third period. The pick came on Williams’ 136th attempt of the season.

Colorado cashed in when Shedeur Sanders tossed a 9-yard toss to Miller to cut the deficit to 48-34 with 11:55 remaining.

–Field Level Media