Caleb Williams had "(Expletive) Utah" pained on his fingernails before USC Football's Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday, and after the Trojans' loss, Utes QB Cam Rising clapped back at Williams for the shade:
Unfortunately, Williams was bound to take some heat if USC lost this game, if he was going to paint that on his nails. Williams has painted similar messages about other teams on his nails throughout his career, but has never been called out for it due to the success he always has on the field when he does it.
This time, he personally did have success on the field; completing 28 of 41 passes for 363 yards and three touchdowns. To do this while he wasn't even at 50% health was remarkable. He was out there playing on one leg; yet still had a higher completion percentage than Rising, more pass yards than Rising, more rush yards than Rising, and just as many touchdowns as Rising.
Even when Williams had no mobility due to his hamstring injury, he still played well overall, and put together a performance that will still likely win him the Heisman Trophy. And again, it's important to remember that Williams also had a hand injury during the game. He had a gash on his throwing hand, and it was also beat up. It was clearly impacting him, and especially as the game went on.
When Williams was healthy enough to where he at least could move, though, SC was up 17-3. After he lost all his mobility, Utah mounted their comeback.
The pocket was collapsing all game due to elite pass blocker and RB1 Travis Dye being out and No. 1 Offensive Lineman in LG Andrew Vorhees being out. Then, things got worse when No. 2 Offensive Lineman in C Brett Neilon ended up having to leave the game.
It wasn't that Williams wasn't good enough to win this game, but that he had no chance with the banged up backfield and offensive line when he also was dealing with multiple injuries too. And again, he still had good numbers overall. But Williams was going to take heat for the message on his nails regardless of why the team lost.
Cam Rising also had a message for USC Football QB Caleb Williams as he was leaving the podium.
Cam Rising also said "Can't be painting that (expletive) on your nails" after he left the press conference, in reference to USC Football QB Caleb Williams' nails, according to ESPN's Paolo Uggetti. Uggetti also said that Rising mentioned that the Utes took the hype around USC and their quarterback personally.
As for how Rising played, he did play well. He averaged 9.1 passing yards per attempt for 310 passing yards and tossed three touchdowns. SC did not force any turnovers from him.
The defense in general was pretty awful against the Utes, as they not only allowed Utah to have success in the passing game, but the Utes also ran the ball very well against the Trojans. Utah ran for 223 rushing yards on 35 carries. That's a 6.4 yard per carry average, and they ran for three touchdowns.