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Caleb Williams evaluates his progress in second year of Lincoln Riley's system

Barkley Truax09/22/22
Article written by:On3 imageBarkley Truax


Caleb Williams
Caleb Williams #13 of the USC Trojans reacts after he threw a touchdown pass against the Stanford Cardinal in the first half at Stanford Stadium (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Caleb Williams might be in his first year as quarterback of the USC Trojans, but he’s now a quarter of the way through his second season under head coach Lincoln Riley. Following his headman from Oklahoma this past offseason, the two are firing on all cylinders in year two together.

“Knowing my checks throughout each week, being more consistent and more accurate get through my reads,” Williams said of what he’s learned in year two. “Instead of wanting the big deep ball, big post ball, big go ball, [I’ll go] intermediate, just taking the check down, making a defense stay true to our offense and not making them play deep and force me to throw. I’m fine with throwing under not looking for the deep ball.

“I’m looking for us to stay on the field as long as possible. That gives us the best shot to win the game and putting point on the board. So, those have been the main ways that I’ve been trying to grow. I think so far, I’ve been doing a good job and I want to do better.”

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Williams has completed 64 of his 86 (74.4 percent) passes for 874 yards and eight touchdowns. While those numbers are certainly impressive for a three-game sample size, his 8-0 touchdown-to-interception ratio is one of the best in the country and his 93.1 QBR is rated fourth in the nation heading into Week 4.

If those numbers on paper aren’t speaking volumes for Riley’s trust in Williams to lead his offense, the Trojans have outscored opponents 152-59 heading into Pac-12 Conference play.

Williams and the Trojans offense will look to continue their offensive prowess against a fellow 3-0 team in Oregon State. Kickoff is set for 9:30 p.m. ET live on the Pac-12 Network.