USC QB Caleb Williams makes a big move with the electric performance vs. UCLA


The college football regular season is drawing to a close and it looks like the race for the Heisman Trophy is over.

Next Monday, official Heisman ballots will go to hundreds of media outlets across the country (including the author of this story), as well as every previous Heisman winner. The voting deadline is December 5, after the conference championship games have been played and the final College Football Playoff rankings have been revealed.

For some Heisman contenders, that means next weekend will be their last chance to impress voters. USC quarterback Caleb Williams is not included in that group.

Williams led USC to a massive win over UCLA Saturday night to clinch a spot in the Pac-12 Championship game. Williams threw for 470 yards, rushed for 33 yards and caught three total touchdowns in the 48-45 win at the Rose Bowl.

Williams’ performance was electric. He was in perfect control of the attack, bowling with precision and also putting balls into tight windows on the go.

USC quarterback Caleb Williams leads the USC marching band after USC beat UCLA 48-45 on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

USC quarterback Caleb Williams leads the USC marching band after USC beat UCLA 48-45 on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

This time last week, Williams is listed at +1100 to win the Heisman Trophy. As of this writing, his odds at BetMGM are as high as +125, trailing only Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud, who remains the betting favorite at -135.

Tennessee’s Williams jumped Hendon Hooker, North Carolina’s Drake May, Michigan State’s Blake Corum and Oregon State’s Bo Nix to take a spot behind Stroud on the prospects board. Hooker lost the season to a torn ACL, Maye’s and Tar Heels turned in a botched performance against Georgia Tech and Corum and Nix both dealt with injuries.

Before leading USC to the Pac-12 title game, Williams and the Trojans have another high-profile regular season matchup with Notre Dame on Saturday.

USC was ranked No. 7 in the College Football Playoff rankings last week and is sure to move up after a loss to No. 5 Tennessee. The Trojans path to the playoffs is pretty straightforward if they still win, unless the losing pick committee predicts a one-time showdown of #2 Ohio State vs #3 Michigan State against the Pac-12 champ.

With that said, things seem well set up for Williams to make it to the Heisman Gala in New York – and maybe even win it.

(All odds via BetMGM)

Ohio State QB CJ Stroud (-135)

CJ Stroud remains the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy.

The Ohio State quarterback helped his team stay undefeated Saturday by throwing for 241 yards and a touchdown in a 43-30 win over Maryland. It wasn’t one of Stroud’s best games as he completed only 18 out of 30 attempts while the Buckeyes were banking on their running game against the Terps.

For the season, Stroud threw for 2,991 yards and 35 touchdowns with only four interceptions while completing 66.4% of his throws. He leads the nation in yards per attempt (9.7) and passer rating (183.3) and is tied for the national lead in touchdown passes. However, Stroud fell to 19th in passing yards and 24th in completion percentage.

Ohio State is 11-0 with a home encounter with fellow undefeated Michigan staying on the regular season schedule. If Stroud can lead OSU past Michigan to a Big Ten title and into the College Football Playoff, it will be hard for voters to overlook him.

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) remains the favorite for the Heisman title as he led the Buckeyes to an 11-0 record.  (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) remains the favorite for the Heisman title as he led the Buckeyes to an 11-0 record. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

USC QB Caleb Williams (+125)

After Williams’ stellar performance in the win over UCLA, he reached 3,480 yards, 33 touchdowns and three interceptions while completing 64.9% of his attempts. He is tied for fourth nationally in touchdowns, sixth in yards, ninth in passer rating (167.59) and eleventh in yards per attempt (9.0).

Williams has six games with at least 300 receiving yards and has also surpassed the 400-yard mark twice. Williams also rushed for 316 yards and seven scores on the year.

With the prospect of another ranked win (Saturday against Notre Dame) and a Pac-12 title, Williams could lead USC to the College Football Playoff despite the Trojans having a very porous defense.

USC is no way anywhere near this point without Williams at quarterback.

North Carolina QB Drake Maye (+700)

Maye’s Heisman hopes took a hit Saturday when North Carolina lost at home to Georgia Tech as the favorite on three points. UNC jumped out to a 17-0 lead but ended up losing 21-17 to a team that had been rotating between third and fourth quarterbacks throughout the game.

May, after a string of impressive performances, had his worst outing of the season. He completed only 16 of 30 runs for 202 yards, no touchdowns and a costly interception. While UNC had already booked a spot in the ACC title game, the team’s hopes went out the window with the loss.

May has thrown for 3,614 yards, 34 touchdowns, and four interceptions this year. He also has 547 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. That’s a staggering stat from the start of the first year, but UNC’s lack of success against a subpar opponent may be difficult for some voters to look back on. Fortunately, he has chances to bounce back with the regular season finale against NC State and the ACC game against Clemson.

Michigan RB Blake Corum (+1100)

Blake Corum hit his eighth consecutive 100-yard rushing performance on Saturday against Illinois, and he did it in just one half. However, Corum went down with a left knee injury late in the first half. He briefly returned to the field in the third quarter, but only had one half second before he was out of the game for good.

After the game, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh said Corum’s knee was “structurally fine,” but added that there would be more testing on Sunday. Corum was vague about the injury on Sunday, He tells the Detroit News That his knee is “good”.

“I’ll be fine,” Corum said.

With the Ohio State game looming, Michigan is certainly hoping that will be the case. Corum ranks third in the nation with 1,457 rushing yards and tied for second with 18 touchdowns. With a big game against Ohio State, he could greatly boost his chances as a Heisman.

Michigan running back Blake Corum (2) was one of the best defensemen in the nation for an 11-0 team, but his injury condition is up in the air.  (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Michigan running back Blake Corum (2) was one of the best defensemen in the nation for an 11-0 team, but his injury condition is up in the air. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Oregon QB Bo Nix (+3000)

Speaking of injuries, Bo Nix was hampered but made his way through Oregon’s win over Utah on Saturday night.

Last week, Knicks injured his ankle in a heartbreaking loss to Washington that knocked Oregon out of CFP contention. It was the Knicks’ game-time decision on Saturday but he ended up playing despite his limited mobility. The Knicks threw for 287 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the 20-17 victory, keeping the Ducks’ Pac-12 title hopes alive.

The Knicks’ running was a key part of Oregon’s offense, but he only had two tackles against the Utes. One came late in the fourth quarter and resulted in a third down conversion.

For the season, the Nix totals 3,062 yards and 25 touchdowns and passes for 513 yards and 14 TDs on the ground. And if the Knicks can lead Oregon past Oregon State this weekend, the Ducks will meet USC in a major Pac-12 game.

TCU QB Max Duggan (+5,000)

TCU’s Max Duggan feels like an afterthought on the Heisman run, but it really shouldn’t be. Duggan has been an important part of TCU’s epic season. The senior threw for 2,858 yards and 26 touchdowns while adding 291 yards and five touchdowns as a runner.

TCU improved to 11-0 with a last-second 29-28 win over Baylor on Saturday and Duggan was the MVP of the Horned Frogs. He threw for 327 yards and a touchdown and had 50 yards and a touchdown on the ground. He made several clutch plays in the fourth quarter with his arms and legs.

TCU is ranked No. 4 in the latest CFP rankings and can finish the regular season 12-0 with a win over Iowa State on Saturday. From there, TCU will play in the Big 12 game with a CFP berth on the line.

If Duggan enters the Horned Frogs into the four-team playoff, it will be hard for voters to ignore him.

TCU quarterback Max Duggan (15) was an important part of his team's magical undefeated season.  He has a chance to lead TCU to the College Football Playoff.  (AP Photo/LM Otero)

TCU quarterback Max Duggan (15) was an important part of his team’s magical undefeated season. He has a chance to lead TCU to the College Football Playoff. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

(+8000) Georgia QB Stetson Bennett

Furthermore, there is the first-team quarterback in the country, Georgia Stetson Bennett. Bennett led UGA to win the national title last year and is looking to do so again this season.

Georgia is 11-0 heading into Saturday’s game against Georgia Tech. The Bulldogs have already wrapped up the SEC East tournament and will face LSU in the SEC Championship game. Over the season, Bennett threw for 3,011 yards and had 21 total touchdowns – 14 passing, seven rushing.

Bennett has been extremely effective for the Bulldogs, but it’s hard to see him getting much Heisman love without the amazing stats that the others have.



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