USC football: Offensive grades in statement win over Stanford Cardinal

Caleb Williams, USC Football, USC Trojans
Caleb Williams, USC Football, USC Trojans / Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

USC football's offense looked excellent against the Stanford Cardinal in Week 2. Scoring 41 points, SC seemingly put the game away at halftime. The score was 35-14. USC scored a touchdown on all five of their first five drives. It's a major part as to why the team moved up into the top seven of the AP Top 25 Poll after the performance.

SC is currently tied for first in the country with 53.5 points per game after these two weeks. They've been unstoppable with the ball in their hands, even with a much lesser second half performance this last week. There are great grades to go around to the whole crew.

Offensive grades in USC football's statement win over Stanford Cardinal

Every position group played at least some sort of role in the dominant offensive performance for USC football on Saturday. Both transfers and returners alike played excellent football, and the quarterback in particular was as dominant as advertised.

Grading USC Football QB Caleb Williams in statement win over Stanford Cardinal: A

There was almost nothing to criticize Caleb Williams for in his dominant performance against Stanford for USC football. He connected on 20 of 27 throws (74%) for 341 yards. He averaged 12.6 yards an attempt, which was even more than what he had last week against Rice (11.3). He tossed twice the touchdown passes too, hitting four on the day. He protected the ball too.

The only slight blemish on his performance was that he didn't produce nearly as much in the second half. The team only scored six points. He didn't have any touchdowns in the half.

He did, however, lead the team to a couple of field goals within the first three drives of the second half. After that, SC was realistically just trying to run the clock out. Williams doesn't have many negatives to look at in the film room this week.

Grading USC Football's Wide Receivers in statement win over Stanford Cardinal: A+

USC football's wide receivers were even more impressive than the quarterback performance for the Trojans. Williams' connection with Jordan Addison was put on full display, and in dominant fashion. Addison had seven catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns. That's 24.6 yards per catch from the X receiver. That's absurd.

His connection with ex-Oklahoma teammate Mario Williams was also particularly impressive. Mario had four catches for 74 yards and a touchdown. Both showed their abilities to turn on the jets AND avoid tackles. Mario broke ankles with juke moves, and Addison broke bodies with broken tackles.

USC is blessed to have two top 10 receivers on the same team. Also, Brenden Rice had a beautiful 20 yard catch early in the game too, that showcased the type of play-making ability he'll have more chances to flash as the season goes on.

Grading USC Football's Running Backs in statement win over Stanford Cardinal: A

The USC football running back room did an overall excellent job for the Trojans on Saturday. Travis Dye led the way with 14 carries for 7.5 yards a pop. Therefore, he finished with 105 yards and a touchdown. Adding on a 19-yard reception, he was everything SC needed. To put up these numbers in a three-back system isn't easy.

Speaking of the other two backs, they performed very well too. Austin Jones averaged 4.8 yards per carry (eight carries for 38 yards) against his former team, and true freshman RB Raleek Brown did too (four carries for 19 yards). Jones had three catches for 31 yards as well. While the running game slowed down in the second half, the three-back system proved to be incredibly capable again.

Grading USC Football's Tight Ends in statement win over Stanford Cardinal: B-

USC football saw a tight end touchdown this week, which isn't typical from the Trojans. It was from Lake McRee in the first drive of the game. It was important to see that position set the tone for the offense early.

That being said, it doesn't get a particularly glowing grade due to the tight end spot only seeing two more catches for 12 yards after that. McRee had one more for eight yards, and Malcolm Epps had just one for four yards. Still, an improvement from last week with a trip to the end zone gets the tight end position a decent grade on the week.

Grading USC Football's Offensive Line in statement win over Stanford Cardinal: A

USC football's offensive line was tremendous again on Saturday. A team that prides itself on a front seven that can wear an offense out down the stretch, Stanford only had three total sacks on the day. That's not a bad number against a team with Stanford's defensive identity when on the road. Williams looked awfully calm in the pocket on Saturday, and he appeared to have every reason to be.

The running game averaged 4.6 yards per carry, which couldn't have happened without a strong performance from the O-Line. USC even saw Courtland Ford pulled from the left tackle spot and all the way past the right tackle to make blocks on the far right side of the field. This offense is great for this O-Line, and this O-Line is great for this offense.

Grading USC Football's overall offense in statement win over Stanford Cardinal: A

USC football's offense was outstanding during the Stanford game. While it fell off in the second half with only six points beyond the first and second quarters, it's important to remember that David Shaw's teams typically attempt to control the clock and focus in on physicality over everything. That game plan typically has much success in wearing teams down by the end of the game.

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

Stanford then typically tries to pull out a close one late in the ball game, but USC's offense was so dominant in the entire first half that Stanford had far too much ground to make up to even make it a close game. USC coasted to this victory, and the offense was the number one reason why. Scoring 24 points off of four turnovers USC forced, this offense answered whenever needed and put on a show.