Skip to main content

Practice Report: USC Football's Caleb Williams Evaluates First Six Games As A Trojan

Oct 12, 2022

Caleb Williams' calm demeanor can sometimes hide the fact that the quarterback is just a sophomore. His quick rise to prominence in 2021 makes it easy to forget that Williams only had seven starts under his belt before transferring to USC.

Time has quickly progressed since his arrival in Southern California, as Williams is just one start shy of his previous total last year. The quarterback shared on Wednesday his evaluation of his play so far in 2022.

"I've played all right…I've played all right," Williams said twice, the second time with a more reflective tone. "I feel like I can play a lot better. I don't feel like I've unlocked everything that I can do in my ability. And I'm trying to get to that because this team needs my best throughout this last stretch of the season since we're in the second half of it."

Williams' solution to unlocking his best echoes what head coach Lincoln Riley preaches to his quarterbacks: It's all in the details.

"The small things really matter," Williams explained. "They matter more throughout the second half of the season. You can't think that you're going to go out there and complete the same pass that you completed three weeks ago if you're not focusing on the small things."

So far in his career, one of the sophomore's defining traits has been his competitive nature. So does it frustrate Williams to not be at his best?

"No," Williams answered simply. "Football is a process, you've got to get better. So me not being at my best just proves that I just need to do more."

Notes from USC's Wednesday practice of Utah Week

  • Defensive coordinator Alex Grinch described the challenges that come with facing Utah's Cam Rising, a mobile quarterback who prides himself on being a physical runner:

    • "If you think the quarterback is gonna go down easy, certainly, that doesn't take you much film to realize that's not the case," Grinch explained. "He has really, really good speed…You've got to make sure that as best you can, it's not just one guy trying to get him down - similar to how you would describe a running back going through the hole. Solo tackles are very, very difficult on a guy of his ability."

  • Grinch praised sophomore Calen Bullock and shared an optimistic for trajectory for the safety:

    • "He's one of those guys where his best football is in front of him," Grinch said. "He's got to continue to put on the weight and the strength and all those things, which he will. But we're thrilled about it. I mean, I think he can be-- I don't want to put a ceiling on him, but I also don't want to give too high of praise, but I couldn't give him any higher praise. We expect big things."

  • USC's matchup against Washington State marked the first time that the Trojans didn't come away with a turnover on defense. Grinch stressed that a lack of takeaways cannot become a trend:

    • "We don't do this, 'Aw, shucks. We didn't get it. It's fine!'" Grinch explained. "Obviously you never know the full impact [of not winning the turnover battle], but believe me, it had an impact on that football game. We can't be ok with that."

Wednesday's media availability

Breaking down USC's 30-14 win over Washington State