Caleb Williams leads USC over UCLA with brilliant performance

Caleb Williams had 470 passing yards and three total touchdowns to lift No. 7 USC over No. 16 UCLA on Saturday night and put the Trojans in contention for the Pac-12 Championship.

Williams had a 16-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Ford in the fourth quarter and Darwin Barlow’s 6-yard run later in the frame would help extend the team’s lead and keep it. USC won the game 48-45.

Williams was 32-for-43 with 470 passing yards, two touchdown passes and an interception. He added 33 yards on the ground on eight carries and a rushing touchdown. His other score went to wide receiver Jordan Addison, who had 11 catches for 178 yards.

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Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams runs in for a touchdown against UCLA Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Pasadena, California.

Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams runs in for a touchdown against UCLA Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Pasadena, California.
(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

“If you told me last year where we’d be now, I’d call you a dead liar,” Ford said after the game.

USC (now 10-1, 8-1), got their first win of the season over a ranked team, boosting their College Football Playoff resume and putting them within reach of a conference title. Williams also may get the call to New York City for the Heisman Trophy ceremony.

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Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams celebrates after USC defeated UCLA 48-45, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Pasadena, California.

Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams celebrates after USC defeated UCLA 48-45, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Pasadena, California.
(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

“It’s obviously very, very meaningful,” Riley said of the win. “With all that was riding on it on top of that, it was a clutch performance by our football team to get it done.”

UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson had six total touchdowns. He was 23-for-38 with 309 passing yards and four touchdown passes. He had two rushing touchdowns and 81 yards on the ground. Thompson-Robinson added three interceptions as well.

UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson celebrates after running the ball against Southern California Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Pasadena, California.

UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson celebrates after running the ball against Southern California Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Pasadena, California.
(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

“Obviously, I feel disappointment, a lot of it on myself,” he said. “At the quarterback position, can’t have (four) turnovers and win the game, it’s just not acceptable.”

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USC was initially down 14-0 in the game but started their comeback early. USC scored on eight of nine drives, including five straight, after coming up empty on their first three series.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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