USC Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley provided an injury update on star quarterback Caleb Williams following the team’s brutal 47-24 loss to the Utah Utes.
Williams suffered a hamstring injury during Friday’s Pac-12 Championship Game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. Despite the injury, Williams was able to finish out the game. He completed 28 of 41 pass attempts for 363 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in the loss.
Speaking to reporters after the game, Riley stated that Williams popped his hamstring in the opening quarter. Riley even considered taking his superstar signal-caller out, but he claimed that Williams wouldn’t allow it, per ESPN’s Paolo Uggetti.
Friday’s loss will be a tough one for the Trojans to live down. They came into the Pac-12 Game ranked No. 4, putting them in excellent position to qualify for the four-team College Football Playoff National Championship.
But Utah’s big upset over USC will likely prevent Riley and company from reaching the playoffs. The defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs (12-0) are ranked No. 1, with Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan Wolverines (12-0) right behind them at No. 2. TCU, also 12-0, holds the No. 3 spot.
After a successful five-year stint at Oklahoma, Riley decided to leave for the opportunity to turn around the Trojans’ program. He certainly accomplished that goal in year one, but the loss to Utah definitely stings given all the success USC enjoyed this season.
Williams is a front-runner for the Heisman Trophy this year. His potential is so high that former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton thinks that the NFL could implement a draft lottery system to determine who will win the Williams sweepstakes in 2024.
The 20-year-old Williams has completed 65.8 percent of his pass attempts this season for 3,712 yards, 34 touchdowns and just three interceptions to go along with 351 rushing yards and 10 rushing scores.