USC quarterback Caleb Williams finishes a 14-yard run with a Heisman style leap into the end zone for his third touchdown against Notre Dame.
USC quarterback Caleb Williams finishes a 14-yard run with a Heisman style leap into the end zone for his third touchdown against Notre Dame. Credit: Robert Attical, BVN

Last Updated on December 2, 2022 by BVN

Jon D. Gaede | BVN Sports

The Los Angeles Coliseum has been the spotlight for great rivalries and outstanding individual performances, none greater than that of USC running back Anthony Davis 48 years ago. Davis was honored on the field before the USC vs Notre Dame rivalry game, in 1974 he scored 26 second half points himself. Ultimately, the Trojans scored 55 unanswered points in 17 minutes to beat the Irish 55-24.

Another Trojan steps into the Heisman spotlight 

Many still believe Anthony Davis earned the Heisman Trophy that night, but the committee decided to give the award to Ohio State’s Archie Griffin twice. Perhaps the next USC Trojan stepped into that Heisman spotlight on Saturday night, none other than sophomore quarterback Caleb Williams, a dynamic athlete blessed with extraordinary athletic talent.

With a capacity Coliseum crowd on hand, USC faced a quality Notre Dame defense as the Irish have been a stingy top 10 team against opposing offenses. 

The Williams-led Trojan offense took the opening kickoff and promptly drove 75 yards in eight plays, scoring on a Williams to Tahj Washington pass. 

Notre Dame’s Drew Pyne hit tight end Michael Mayer with a 22-yard touchdown pass to bring the Irish as close as 10-7 in the second quarter, but that would be as close as the score would get.

“I don’t believe in putting limits on what you think you can accomplish”

Lincoln Riley

William’s athleticism was on full display as he used his legs, passing arm and right foot  (58-yard punt) like Jim Thorpe to keep the Irish defense on their heels. He capped another 75-yard drive with a five-yard running touchdown just before the half, which extended the Trojan lead to 17-7. 

Although Pyne, the 6’5” Irish quarterback, was 15 of 15 passing at one point in the third quarter, the Trojan defense eventually imposed their will. 

The Irish line chased Williams all night, but rarely got to him as he showed how elusive he can be by evading a strong Notre Dame rush, then running or passing for first downs as needed.

Running back Austin Jones gained 154 yards on 24 carries 

Trojan running back Austin Jones gained 154 yards on 24 carries, filling in for the injured Travis Dye, but this night belonged to Williams, whose dynamic athleticism led his team to victory while entertaining a national television audience in prime time. 

Williams culminated his night with a signature 14-yard scamper and gazelle-like leap into the end zone for his fourth touchdown. Williams was an efficient 18 of 22 passing for one touchdown and rushing for three more against the Irish for 44 on the season and is a likely front runner for the Heisman.

“Everything about tonight reminded me of what I remember from when I was as a kid,” Coach Lincoln Riley said. His Trojans will take confidence and momentum into next week’s PAC 12 Championship game in Las Vegas as they take on the Utah Utes, the only team to beat them this year (43-42 in October).

“I don’t believe in putting any limits on what you think you can accomplish,” Riley, who has already exceeded expectations with 11 wins, said. Due to recent losses among top 10 teams, the Trojans path to the College Football Playoff  (CFP) has become much more-clear – just beat Utah on Friday.

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Jon Gaede

While on assignment for GamePro Magazine in 1996, Jon Gaede met former Black Voice Sports Editor, Leland Stein at a Los Angeles Lakers’ game. They formed a working relationship which has endured for 24 years. In addition to African safaris, theater productions, Footsteps to Freedom Tours with Black Voice News Publisher Emeritus Cheryl Brown, concerts and portraits, Jon’s true passion comes from shooting action sports images. Jon has covered a variety of prep, collegiate and professional sports from track & field to boxing, including six Olympic Games.