New USC football transfer QB Caleb Williams was sensational in his true freshman season last year for Oklahoma. Despite not even starting until the second half of the season, he was at one point the leading Heisman contender of the season. Williams scored 27 total touchdowns, which once again is insane for not even starting until the second half.
New USC Head Coach Lincoln Riley knew just how special of a talent Williams was, and made sure to bring him in after he hit the transfer portal. The two clearly already have established great chemistry, and that connection is only going to grow stronger as they get the chance to work together for another year.
This year, we're going to be seeing a lot of similar things as to what we saw last year from Williams. That being said, the role will not be exactly the same. Expect Riley to learn from when Williams was at his best last year and when Williams was at his worst.
Riley will be fine-tuning Caleb Williams' role with USC football this upcoming season.
Caleb Williams is going to have a bit more emphasis on passing the ball this year with USC football than he had last year with Oklahoma football. Obviously, Williams threw the rock a lot last year. He had 175 attempts in his seven starts--that's 25 tosses per game. I'm not saying that Williams will be throwing exponentially more than the good amount that he already does drop back and throw.
I'm saying that in two of the three games Williams had ten or more rush attempts last year, OU lost. It was the last three games of the regular season, and Williams really struggled at times when he was running the ball more than usual. In fact, running more didn't always lead to more production on the ground from Williams.
He put up just 120 rushing yards in those three contests, which is of course an average of 40 yards per game. He averaged 43.25 yards on the ground in his other four starts, which isn't much more, but when analyzing that he averaged 7.25 carries per game in those contests as opposed to 13.67 carries per game in the games he had ten or more rushing attempts in, it's easy to see that he was so much more efficient as a runner when he wasn't taking on that higher rushing workload.
Sure enough, after the regular season, Williams went back to rushing the ball a little less, running it seven times in the Alamo Bowl. He balled out. He had 34 yards on the ground, while also torching his new Pac-12 rival Oregon through the air for 242 yards and three touchdowns (21 of 27 passing). Winning by 15, this style of play translated very much to the final score.
Williams will continue to be a dual-threat for sure, but Riley's a smart coach, and I'm sure he's noticed what I have. Expect Williams to see an average rush attempt number closer to 7.25 carries as opposed to the less efficient 13.67. Therefore, there's going to be a bit more of an emphasis on Williams' arm heading into 2022.