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USC fans make strong debut with Rice after hyping Caleb Williams' Heisman Trophy candidacy

Harry Howe/Getty Images

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

The game marked Williams’ first start for the Troys. 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, who served as the Sooners’ head coach for five seasons from 2017 to 2021, 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 with four interceptions. He also rushed for 442 yards and 6 points. Williams announced his commitment to USC in February.

In his first game against USC, Williams completed 19 of 22 passes for the 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.

Trojans, fans believe Williams is a candidate for the Heisman Trophy this season, Be the best player in college football. Alex Shapiro @AlexShapiroNBCS

After SC football half time, I am ready to give Caleb Williams the Heisman

Coco ゴジラ🇵🇪 🇩🇪 @cocopower430

Caleb Williams will win Heisman and take this brutal defense to the PAC-12 Championship He is unreal 👀 pic.twitter.com/BRMj2hSdgq

Justin Sanso Nettie@Sansonetti15

Caleb Williams of Heisman 😭 🙏 #USCFootball

PAC @MJG__13

Caleb Williams will be a Heisman finalist. #FightOn

Chopper @Cheylove14369
Caleb Williams should be Heisman’s bet. He’s going to come up with crazy numbers this year bruh lilSutra @LilSutra Pretty sure I said that when he was transferring. But Caleb Williams is my dark horse Heisman.

Chris 🏁🐍 @Hazuree24

Caleb Williams of Heisman

Browniee_562 @browniee_562

Lincoln Riley and Trojans look good in first game of the season, Caleb Williams Will Sri Lanka become Heisman’s dark horse👀? #FightOn

Josh@TheRealJosh05 That’s my Heisman champion Caleb Williams Small VATO @iamVat0

caleb williams is him, now give him Heisman

InsideUSC@InsideUSC

Good start to Caleb Williams’ Heisman campaign: 249 passing yards, 2 TDs, 68 rushing #USC

Slimy knows @slimy_jack30

Heisman candidate at the end of the year?

Anthony Richardson Bryce Young
CJ Stroud Blake Shapen Caleb Williams Will Rogers

It’s hard to beat these QBs

While Williams started the season on a high note, he struggled to compete with some of college football’s top players for the Heisman, including the Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, 2021 Heisman Champion and Ohio State Signal-Caller CJ Stroud.

Alabama wing Will Anderson Jr., Texas running back Bijan Robinson, Ohio State running back TreVeyon Henderson and Ohio State receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba may also be in Heisman’s conversation.

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