Caleb Williams’ The first season at Southern California was a great personal success, as evidenced by his Heisman Trophy and his status as the consensus top prospect the following season. NFL contract.

But Williams has some decidedly sad memories of last season, simply because Trojan He missed his team’s goals during his exciting debut under Lincoln Riley.

As a quarterback who stands out for his talent and the ability to embrace a leadership role throughout his team, Williams is determined to lead. No. 6 USC When he gets his second chance this fall, he will be in the running for a national championship.

“We have a lot to accomplish this year,” Williams said. “Everyone has the same goals and mindset this year. It takes any kind of mindset to get what we want. It’s going to be a great year. Can’t wait.”

The Trojans have taken on another wave of talent as they begin their second season under Riley, whose remarkable rebuilding project still needs a lot of work despite last year’s impressive 11-3 record. Riley’s first team only faltered against Utah, which beat the Trojans twice to win pac 12 title, and in the Cotton Bowl, when Tulane Overcame a 15-point deficit in the last five minutes to become a surprise hitter.

“We knew it would be a bit of a journey, didn’t we?” Riley said. “Nowadays, there’s a lot of talk about, you can build a roster faster than before, but still you can’t do everything in one year. It can’t happen. You can make dramatic changes, but Not everything. We were proud of what we did in the first year, but of course we were very focused on what could happen in the second year.”

the trojans didn’t have to play Oregon Or washington last season, but both powerhouses (and future Big Ten rivals) are on this year’s schedule. The challenges are great, but so are the rewards for a program that is confident it is poised to make the College Football Playoff for the first time.

Interview with USC’s Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams

fond farewell

As the world knows, this season is the Trojans’ last in the Pac-12. They decide to leave for in June 2022 big ten 2024 spells apparent doom for the West Coast’s premier conference, causing gloom at every Pac-12 program in the meantime. USC won seven consecutive Pac-10 titles in the 2000s under Pete Carroll, but won the league only once in the following 13 years. USC is the unanimous pre-season pick to wear the final Pac-12 crown.

Repeat Heisman?

Williams is the 12th player since Archie Griffin accomplished the feat in 1975 to win consecutive Heismans. Of the last 11 winners, only one finished second in the voting the following year. Williams is the betting favorite to repeat, but past Heisman winners are generally held to a higher standard by voters in their attempts to repeat, so an injury-free Williams will probably need a stellar 12-game run to make history. .

USC QB Caleb Williams Faces A Lot Of Ground In The Heisman Chase

Stingy grin?

USC’s obvious weakness in Riley’s debut was a defense that gained 423.9 yards per game and lost in big games despite its impressive ability for takedowns. Riley ignored calls for the dismissal of his longtime defensive coordinator, Alex Grinch, and instead reinstated him to the roster.

Trojans add a wealth of talent in transfer window including defensive tackle bear alexander (Georgia), Kyon Barres (Arizona) and jack sullivan (Purdue), Defensive End Anthony Lucas (Texas A&M) and linebacker mason cobb (Oklahoma State). The secondary was also boosted by Tre’Quon Fegans (Alabama) and Christian Rowland-Wallace (Arizona). Now the pressure is on for the Grinch to turn this genius into a halt.

big numbers

Riley’s offense was equally outstanding last season, ranking third in the FBS with 506.6 yards per game, and this group appears to be even more talented. Williams is throwing away four of last season’s top six receivers with the acclaimed Arizona transfer dorian singer and tight end prospect deuce robinson, south carolina transfer running back marshon lloyd joined the backfield with Austin Jones, Offensive Line Could Be Revamped, But Should Still Be Anchored justin dedich And jonah monheim,

Schedule

The second half of the Trojans’ schedule is much more difficult than the first. The challenge begins with their trip to No. 13 Notre Dame in mid-October, followed by a trip to 14th-ranked Utah. The Trojans will face No. 10 Washington, No. 15 Oregon and UCLA on consecutive weekends in November. The biggest blunder in their slate is a second bye, which comes on Thanksgiving weekend after playing their entire regular season. It can only be a good thing if USC makes the Pac-12 title game next week – but if the Trojans don’t earn that spot the season will be disappointing anyway.

Reporting by The Associated Press.



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