What to observe within the USC Trojans vs. Notre Dame recreation

His teammates referred to as him a participant, a winner, Superman.

After a nationally televised primetime rivalry in opposition to UCLA wherein Caleb Williams threw for a career-high 470 yards and clinched USC’s spot within the Pac-12 championship recreation, the Trojans are hoping so as to add one other title:


USC formally launched the quarterback’s Heisman platform this week, releasing a web site and social media marketing campaign that resulted in No. 6 USC common season finale vs. No. 13 Notre Dame at 4.30pm on Saturday on the Colosseum.

The platform highlighted Williams’ multicultural background and philanthropy alongside along with his record-breaking recreation with the “He’s He13man” tagline, a play on Williams’ jersey quantity. He sat within the center former USC stars Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush, holding the Bush jersey as the previous Heisman winners every held an autographed model of the No. 13.

USC large receiver Michael Jackson III did not want the industrial video and media blitz. Williams was already no. 1 in his guide.

“We knew earlier than the season began, it was that man,” Jackson stated this week. “He is confirmed himself to this point this season, he is had a fantastic season, so there is not any query that he needs to be Heisman.”

Here is what to look out for as USC wraps up its common season:

The H phrase

USC quarterback Caleb Williams avoids a run by UCLA linebacker Carl Jones Jr.

USC quarterback Caleb Williams avoids the run of UCLA linebacker Carl Jones Jr. within the second half on the Rose Bowl on November 19.

(Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Occasions)

His offensive linemen do not all the time see Williams’ feats in actual time, however they see sufficient to be amazed.

“That is why I feel individuals are throwing that phrase, that H-word,” left guard Andrew Vorhees stated. “A tremendous soccer participant, simply Superman on the market generally.”

Williams, who didn’t converse to native reporters after Wednesday’s apply, threw for 3,480 yards and 33 touchdowns with simply three interceptions whereas finishing 64.9 p.c of his passes. He has been amongst Heisman’s contenders all 12 months, however USC’s 14-point comeback in opposition to UCLA put him in pole place, in keeping with oddsmakers.

To remain forward, Williams wants another rivalry win in opposition to the no. 13 Notre Dame, which might give the Trojans (10-1, 8-1 Pac-12) their second win over a ranked opponent and hold them within the School Soccer playoff chase.

Since CFP debuted in 2014, just one participant — Lamar Jackson in 2016 — has received faculty soccer’s highest particular person honor with out serving to his workforce attain the Last 4.

Riley revolution

USC head coach Lincoln Riley checks his play list during a game against California.

USC head coach Lincoln Riley checks his play record throughout a recreation in opposition to California on the Coliseum November 5.

(Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Occasions)

With a win on Saturday, Lincoln Riley can match Howard Jones and John Robinson for probably the most wins by a USC head coach in his rookie season. USC’s enchancment from 4 to 10 wins is the second-largest single-season turnaround at school historical past with an opportunity to match McKay’s soar from 4 wins in 1961 to 11 throughout their undefeated nationwide championship run within the 1962.

Jackson, who had three catches for 42 yards in opposition to UCLA, cited workforce camaraderie and Riley’s capability to maintain gamers centered every week as catalysts for the fast enchancment.

“I simply got here off a low final 12 months. We’re not getting too huge, we’re not filling ourselves up an excessive amount of,” Jackson stated. “We’re nonetheless caught each week and that is what the coaches have applied for us.”

One thing to show

USC cornerback Mekhi Blackmon puts a strain on UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson.

USC cornerback Mekhi Blackmon places a pressure on UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson within the first half within the Rose Bowl on Nov. 19.

(Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Occasions)

School soccer playoff committee chairman Boo Corrigan hinted to ESPN this week that the USC protection, which has given up 35 or extra factors in 4 of its final 5 video games, was holding the Trojans behind two losses by Louisiana State within the ‘essential CFP rating. North Carolina State’s athletic director stated committee members needed to “see a bit extra” from the Trojans’ protection.

Defensive coordinator Alex Grinch stated he did not see the remark however was fast to agree.

“It’s extremely actual when it comes to the accountability that we’ve got on our facet of the ball, not merely being the group that holds on,” the Grinch stated. “So we’ve got to play at a a lot greater degree.”

The Trojans are rebuilding a unit that set futility information final 12 months with the scholastic worst in yards allowed per recreation (6.4) and factors per recreation (31.8). Their scores are finest this season, the Trojans giving up 26.3 factors per recreation and 6.1 yards per recreation. The Irish scored 35 or extra runs in 5 consecutive video games, all of which had been victories.

Right here we go once more

Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer outruns Boston College defenseman Jaiden Woodbey.

Notre Dame tight finish Michael Mayer (87) goes previous Boston School defensive again Jaiden Woodbey (9) in the course of the first half November 19 in South Bend, Indiana.

(Darron Cummings/Related Press)

The Trojans gave up 234 receiving yards to Utah’s Dalton Kincaid, probably the most by a Soccer Bowl Subdivision tight finish this 12 months. That does not bode properly for Saturday’s matchup with Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer, who the Grinch referred to as “the perfect tight finish within the nation.”

The senior who leads Notre Dame with 711 receiving yards, 59 receptions and 7 touchdowns set faculty information for a good finish with 840 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns final 12 months and was a semifinalist for the John Mackey Award, which honors the perfect tight finish within the nation. He has set faculty information for profession receptions, landing catches and receiving yards as a good finish this season and has a minimum of one catch in every of his 34 profession appearances.

When requested about USC’s give attention to Mayer after Kincaid’s area day, the Grinch’s point-blank response elicited just a few chuckles from native reporters.

“Tack him when he has the ball,” the defensive coordinator stated.

Simpler stated than performed for the protection that gave up 105 yards after the catch to Kincaid.