Only one player has repeated as a Heisman Trophy winner, and that was Ohio State's Archie Griffin. Caleb Williams is trying to do it with the USC Trojans this season, and that pursuit became more feasible because Williams will not be eligible to play in the NFL until next year‘s draft. BetOnline customers will get to see him on Saturday night as his team pays a visit to the desert to play the Arizona State Sun Devils at 10:30 PM Eastern time in Tempe.
Williams has gotten off to a pretty good start this season, with 12 touchdowns without an interception in the first three games. He is averaging 12.5 yards in attempt, which is more than three yards better than last season's output, and he has a sizzling 78.6% accuracy rate.
Last year, Williams threw for 4537 yards and 42 touchdowns and was picked off only five times. This season, with a schedule that has been somewhat less than challenging in the early going, he’s only had to throw the ball 70 times, as theTrojans have been able to exhibit some balance in Lincoln Riley‘s offense.
Arizona State is in something of a rebuilding phase after a debacle with Herm Edwards, which turned very bad last season, as the NCAA swarmed in for an investigation, and Edwards was fired after three games. This year they looked to be in very good shape at the quarterback position, as they signed five-star recruit Jaden Rashada, with a big NIL deal and recruited transfer Drew Pyne from Notre Dame, where he threw 22 touchdowns with only six interceptions last season.
But things have gone south there as well. Rashada was really not supposed to be the starter, but he wound up playing in two games, and then he suffered an injury, which will keep him out anywhere between four and six weeks. Second stringer Trenton Bourguet also suffered an injury and he’s out. Pyne, who has thrown two interceptions in 13 attempts, injured his leg against Fresno, and was a little iffy coming into this week's action, but it’s been confirmed that he will start.
In the college football betting odds posted on this game by the folks at BetOnline, USC is a very big favorite:
USC Trojans -34 (-115)
Arizona State Sun Devils +34 (-105)
Over 52 points -110
Under 52 points -110
And don’t forget that with Prop Builder, you’ll be able to take advantage of hundreds of different angles on this week’s games!
Williams is known as someone who can pull the ball down and run with it, but he only has 61 net yards rushing this season. That’s OK, because he hasn’t really been pressed yet. What he’s been able to do is the spread the ball around; six different receivers have had at least 100 yards in catches.
The Trojans have outscored their opposition, 178-52, and they were also outgaining them by an average of almost four yards per play.
Lincoln Riley, as you may know, has coached three Heisman Trophy winners; in addition to Williams, Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield have both won the award. Riley has, as we alluded to, exquisite balance, with three running backs averaging at least 7 1/2 yards per carry, and explosive receivers like Tajh Washington (25.9 yards per catch) and Duce Robinson (23.3). so they are going to be dangerous for any defense that has the misfortune of facing them.
Pyne at least gives ASU an experienced hand at quarterback, but it’s kind of a red flag that he could not win the job in fall practice. Yes, a hamstring issue probably had something to do with it, but how will he play now when he’s not 100%? The Sun Devils turned the ball over eight times in a 29-0 loss to Fresno State last time out. The offensive line is very banged up and thin, and maybe it’s a desperation move, but head coach Kenny Dillingham has announced that he will call the plays this week.
This is a blowout, no question, and maybe it’s up to the Trojans to name the score. What might be more intriguing is the over-under on passing yards for Williams. Here it is:
Over 301.5 yards -108
Under 301.5 yards -121
Williams shares the co-favorite's role (with Quinn Ewers of Texas) in the Heisman race at +400. That’s listed at BetOnline, where you’ve got a million angles to choose from, and it’s very easy to open up an account. Just use your credit card or any of their 16 cryptocurrency options, including Bitcoin!