Caleb Williams, Heisman Trophy Recipient, Delivers 5 Touchdown Passes as No. 6 USC Overwhelms Nevada 66-14

by Chloe Baker
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Heisman Trophy

Caleb Williams orchestrated a stellar performance with 319 passing yards, connecting with Tahj Washington for two of his five touchdown throws, to guide No. 6 University of Southern California (USC) to a decisive 66-14 triumph over Nevada this past Saturday evening.

Receiving touchdown passes from their Heisman Trophy-awarded quarterback were also Zachariah Branch, Michael Jackson III, and Brenden Rice. The Trojans (2-0) carried the momentum from their previous overwhelming victory against San Jose State to dominate another Mountain West rival at the Coliseum.

USC accumulated 668 yards of total offense, marking the highest yardage under the coaching of Lincoln Riley. Furthermore, the 66 points tallied equaled the highest scoring game during Riley’s time at the helm.

In the first half alone, Williams posted 258 passing yards and four touchdowns on a mere 15 completions, contributing to a 35-7 advantage by halftime. He closed the game 18 of 24 in pass attempts and added 42 yards on the ground, demonstrating both evasive maneuvers and precise throws.

Stanley Ta’ufo’ou capitalized on a fumble, returning it 23 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. South Carolina transfer MarShawn Lloyd contributed with 76 rushing yards and 59 receiving yards. Promising freshmen Quinten Joyner and Duce Robinson celebrated their first career touchdowns in the final quarter as well.

For the Wolf Pack (0-1), Brendon Lewis threw for 182 yards. The team scored initially but subsequently conceded 45 unanswered points. Freshman AJ Bianco, in a notable debut, connected with Jamaal Bell for a 77-yard touchdown pass during the fourth quarter. The performance came on the heels of Nevada’s disappointing 2-10 record under coach Ken Wilson last season, which followed four consecutive successful seasons under Jay Norvell.

From the outset, Williams seized control, improvising a remarkable 30-yard completion to Dorian Singer while sprinting towards the sideline. Shortly thereafter, he found Branch for a flawless 22-yard touchdown.

Nevada briefly countered with a 73-yard reception by Spencer Curtis that set up a touchdown run from Sean Dollars. However, the Trojans re-established their dominance when Lloyd sprinted for a 24-yard touchdown, and Williams executed a 46-yard run before tossing a 15-yard touchdown pass to Jackson.

In the fourth quarter, Joyner recorded a 47-yard rushing touchdown, while Robinson snatched a pass from Miller Moss and sprinted 71 yards for USC’s eighth touchdown as the game approached its conclusion.

Disciplinary Action

USC’s freshman inside linebacker Tackett Curtis was removed from the game in the second quarter for a targeting penalty. The Trojans were already contending without injured inside linebackers Mason Cobb and Eric Gentry.


Nevada: Despite enduring a difficult start to the season against a formidable opponent, Nevada can draw some positives from the game, including a series of promising drives and an impressive debut from Bianco, who passed for 129 yards during inconsequential minutes.

USC: While Nevada may not have been the most challenging opponent on USC’s 2023 schedule, the Trojans displayed a plethora of explosive plays. However, there were also some defensive lapses that did little to alleviate ongoing concerns about that unit, given their performance in the previous season.

Poll Considerations

USC’s performance likely solidified their standing in the polls, as they met the already high expectations.

Upcoming Matches

Nevada: Will host Idaho on Saturday, September 9.

USC: Will host Stanford on Saturday, September 9.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Heisman Trophy

Who was the standout player in the USC vs. Nevada game?

Caleb Williams, the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, delivered a remarkable performance, throwing 5 touchdown passes.

What was the final score of the USC vs. Nevada game?

USC secured a commanding victory with a final score of 66-14 against Nevada.

Which players caught touchdown passes from Caleb Williams?

Zachariah Branch, Michael Jackson III, Tahj Washington, and Brenden Rice were among the recipients of touchdown passes from Caleb Williams.

How did USC’s offense perform in the game?

USC’s offense amassed 668 total yards, marking a significant achievement under coach Lincoln Riley’s leadership.

How did USC’s defense perform in the game?

While USC’s defense gave up a few significant plays, the team’s overall performance remained strong throughout the game.

Who scored the defensive touchdown for USC?

Stanley Ta’ufo’ou returned a fumble 23 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter for USC.

What positive aspects did Nevada take away from the game?

Despite the loss, Nevada’s AJ Bianco showcased promise with a 77-yard touchdown pass, and the team executed solid drives during the game.

When is USC’s next game?

USC is set to host Stanford on Saturday, September 9.

When is Nevada’s next game?

Nevada will be hosting Idaho on Saturday, September 9.

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