USC football doesn't need offense at all to beat Rice, gets it anyway

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

USC football's defense got off to a pedestrian first half, but then went absolutely nuclear in the Trojans' Week 1 win against Rice. After giving up 14 points in the first half, they left much to be desired. They did, however, show a flash with a pick-six from Calen Bullock.

That flash turned into consistency in the second half, as SC then ran back two more pick-six's in the first two drives of the second half. It was remarkable, and of course meant that SC's defense scored 21 points (including extra points) on the day. They also didn't allow a single point for the entire second half. That means that USC's defense beat Rice on their own.

Even if the offense did jack squat for the entire game, and didn't score a single point; USC still would have won the contest 21-14. That being said, though, the offense most certainly still wanted to do jack squat throughout the entire game. SC's offense scored 45 points of their own. USC won 66-14. The beating on Rice was so bad that SC emptied the bench, beginning in the third quarter.

USC football's offense was led by new elite QB Caleb Williams.

Williams completed 19 passes out of 22 attempts for USC football, and tossed two touchdowns. Averaging 11.3 yards per toss, he was electric. He was ridiculous on the ground as well, averaging 11.3 yards per rush too. That meant six carries for 68 yards. He put up highlight after highlight, both through the air and via the ground attack.

The same can be said about the entire offense as a whole. Miller Moss completed six passes out of his seven attempts, and ran for 10 yards on his carry. Three different running backs scored touchdowns. Austin Jones had two, Raleek Brown had one, and Darwin Barlow had one. The running game as a whole went for 208 yards on 28 carries.

The offensive line did a good job both in the running game as well as in terms of protecting Williams. Jordan Addison had a couple of receiving touchdowns within his five catches and 54 yards. Tahj Washington had four grabs for 65 yards. Brown had a couple receptions for 40 yards to go along with his six carries for 36 rushing yards.

Seven players had at least one catch of 20 or more yards: Jones, Kyle Ford, Kyron Ware-Hudson, Brown, Mario Williams, Addison, and Washington. The offense is high-flying, and did exactly what they were supposed to against a poor opponent like Rice.

Next. Game-by-game predictions for USC in 2022. dark

The four interceptions were spectacular. The three interception run-backs for touchdowns won USC the game outright. The offense, though, also made sure to show up in incredible fashion.