SOUTH BEND, INDIANA - OCTOBER 14: Caleb Williams #13 of the USC Trojans reacts against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the first half at Notre Dame Stadium on October 14, 2023 in South Bend, Indiana.
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Caleb Williams Throws Himself Out of Heisman Race vs Notre Dame

After a dream start to his 2023 season, USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams may have thrown himself out of the Heisman Trophy race on Saturday against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

Williams is seen as the best quarterback in the country and one of the front-runners for the Heisman trophy, even after winning it last year. USC traveled on the road to face Notre Dame in South Bend, and it was easily Caleb Williams' worst first-half performance as the quarterback threw three interceptions.

His first interception came on the first drive of the game as they were driving the ball. It was a run-pass option as he tried to hit the tight end in the middle of the field and had pressure in his face. He lofted the ball up but overthrew his target and it was intercepted by Notre Dame's Xavier Watts and returned 38 yards to the USC 12-yard line to set up their first touchdown drive.

The second interception came with five minutes left in the second quarter and they were down 10-3. There was pressure coming from the right side, so Williams stepped up into the pocket and threw off platform and into double coverage. It was again intercepted by Xavier Watts and returned to the USC two-yard line and Notre Dame ended up scoring another touchdown to take a 17-3 lead.

The third interception came with three minutes left in the second quarter. Notre Dame sent a blitz on second and 10 and forced Williams to scramble outside the pocket. His coverage threw again into double and Benjamin Morrison undercut the route to intercept it for no gain at the 50-yard line. Notre Dame would go on to score a touchdown to take a 24-3 lead.

USC was trailing at halftime 24-6 after getting a field goal as time expired to end the first half. It is his only three-interception game of his career and his first multi-interception game since 2021 when he was the QB at Oklahoma and threw two interceptions against Baylor in a loss. At halftime, Williams was 13-for-22 for 115 yards and no touchdowns. It is the largest deficit USC has faced all season.

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