Lincoln Riley does what Clay Helton never did in USC football debut

Lincoln Riley, Caleb Williams, USC Football, USC Trojans
Lincoln Riley, Caleb Williams, USC Football, USC Trojans / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

USC football put together an absolute masterclass in their Week 1 matchup against Rice. They won 66-14, but they could have stopped at 59 while still doing something they hadn't done at any point of Clay Helton's head coaching career at SC:

USC fans had been begging for this type of performance. Of course, it didn't matter too much in 2016 and 2017 when USC was winning Pac-12 Championships and Rose Bowls. USC didn't compete for national championships after those years, though, and so missing out on huge scoring days started to wear on the fan base.

From 2018 to 2021, there were so many games where everyone could tell that the Trojans were leaving points on the board. To break this record in just the first game with Lincoln Riley at the helm was amazing, and to do it while still having another touchdown up the offense's sleeve was a heck of a cherry on top.

USC football scored using nine different players on Saturday.

USC football got two touchdowns from QB Caleb Williams, two touchdowns from RB Austin Jones, a touchdown from RB Raleek Brown, a touchdown from RB Darwin Barlow, and two touchdowns from Jordan Addison all on offense.

They received three pick six's from the defense, though. They were picked off by Calen Bullock, Shane Lee, and Ralen Goforth. Denis Lynch was a perfect 10 for 10 on the day as the kicker too (nine PAT's, one FG). Everyone was scoring, as the day felt just as advertised when Riley was hired.

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And this is exactly why he was hired. SC needed to get back to the days of a high-flying offense that could win shootouts in their sleep. Today, they didn't need a shootout, but clearly could have put up points in their sleep. It was an incredible team effort from the entire offense as a whole, and most certainly hit the expectations for Riley in Game 1 of his SC career.