Oct 14, 2023; South Bend, Indiana, USA; USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) runs the ball in the second quarter against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

USC’s title chances, Caleb Williams’ Heisman hopes tumble after loss

Caleb Williams’ quest for a historic repeat Heisman Trophy campaign might have all but ended in a three-interception performance in Southern Cal’s 48-20 loss at Notre Dame on Saturday night.

DraftKings released updated Heisman odds after the Trojans’ loss, with Williams shifting from +230 to +2000. USC’s title hopes also took a major hit, with the Trojans moving from +2500 to +7500.

Williams is trying to become only the second player in history to win multiple Heisman Trophies, joining Ohio State’s Archie Griffin (1974-75). Williams, who came in with 22 touchdown passes and one interception, threw three interceptions and was sacked six times by the Fighting Irish.

He’s still in the Heisman running, but has fallen into a tie for seventh at the book.

The new heavy favorite is Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who threw a game-winning touchdown with 1:38 remaining to lead the No. 7 Huskies to a 36-33 victory over No. 8 Oregon on Saturday. Penix is now the -150 Heisman favorite at DraftKings, followed by Oklahoma’s Dillon Gabriel (+800).

The third-shortest odds belong to Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy (+1000), followed by Florida State’s Jordan Travis (+1200), LSU’s Jayden Daniels (+!500) and North Carolina’s Drake Maye (+1600).

Williams is now tied with Oregon’s Bo Nix, who was 33-of-44 for 337 yards and two touchdowns in the Ducks’ first loss of the season. Notre Dame’s Sam Hartman saw his Heisman odds shorten from +6500 entering the day to +5000 after the upset victory.

Colorado’s Shedeur Sanders, who shot into Heisman contention after two wins to begin the season, has plummeted to +20000 with the Buffaloes having lost three of their last four games.

–Field Level Media

Sep 16, 2023; Boulder, Colorado, USA; Colorado Buffaloes safety Shilo Sanders (21) looks on during the fourth quarter against the Colorado State Rams at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Colorado S Shilo Sanders likely out vs. No. 8 USC

Colorado safety Shilo Sanders is not expected to play in Saturday’s home game against No. 8 USC due to a kidney injury, ESPN reported.

Sanders said he was urinating blood after falling awkwardly while making a tackle in the Buffaloes’ 42-6 loss to Oregon last Saturday.

Sanders, who was taken to the emergency room as a precaution, did not participate in practice this week. He is expected to be replaced in the lineup by Rodrick Ward for Colorado (3-1, 0-1 Pac-12) for Saturday’s game against the Trojans (4-0, 2-0) in Boulder, Colo.

In four games this season, Sanders has 26 tackles, one forced fumble and one interception returned for a touchdown in a 43-35 double-overtime victory versus Colorado State on Sept. 16.

–Field Level Media

Dec 2, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Utah Utes wide receiver Money Parks (10) runs the ball for a touchdown against the Southern California Trojans during the second half of the PAC-12 Football Championship at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

No. 11 Utah ends No. 4 USC’s playoff hopes with Pac-12 title win

Cameron Rising passed for 310 yards and three touchdowns as No. 11 Utah routed No. 4 Southern California 47-24 on Friday in the Pac-12 championship game at Las Vegas, ending the Trojans’ College Football Playoff aspirations.

Utah (10-3), which handed USC its only other loss of the season on Oct. 15 in Salt Lake City, claimed its second straight Pac-12 title thanks to a second-quarter rally and an overwhelming defensive performance over the game’s final three quarters.

USC (11-2) jumped ahead 17-3 less than three minutes into the second period and appeared headed to a lopsided win. Heisman Trophy-contending quarterback Caleb Williams threw touchdowns of 2 yards to Tahj Washington and 3 yards to Raleek Brown in the first quarter, completing a pair of drives that the Trojans extended with fourth-down conversions.

However, those possessions foreshadowed difficulties to come for the usually prolific Trojans offense.

Utah held USC to 1-for-12 on third-down attempts, conceding the only successfully third-down conversion early in the fourth quarter. The Utah defense got to Williams for seven sacks, led by Mohamoud Diabate and Gabe Reid with two each.

The Utes also made 11 tackles for loss, part of Utah stymying USC to the tune of just 56 rushing yards.

Utah’s Ja’Quinden Jackson and Micah Bernard both gained more rushing yards individually than USC accrued as a team, with Jackson going for 105 and Bernard finishing with 88.

Jackson scored Utah’s first touchdown of the game, and the first of his two on the night, late in the second quarter. A stop on the other side set the stage for Rising to lead the Utes on a 14-play, 81-yard drive in just 1:38 that culminated with the Utah quarterback finding Jaylen Dixon for a game-tying, 4-yard touchdown pass just before halftime.

That possession flipped the tone of the game, as Utah took a lead it never relinquished coming out of the locker room when Rising connected with Money Parks for a 57-yard touchdown.

Caleb Williams — who passed for 363 yards — threw the last of his three touchdowns to Mario Williams early in the fourth quarter to pull USC to within 27-24. It was all Utah from there.

Thomas Yassmin broke a series of tackles on the way to a 60-yard touchdown reception, Jackson rushed 53 yards for his second score, and Bernard put on the exclamation point with a 23-yard run.

Utah outgained USC 533 yards to 419 and won the turnover battle 2-1. USC came into Friday’s championship plus-23 on turnovers for the season.

–Field Level Media