Coming into USC Football's game on Saturday, QB1 Caleb Williams was yet to throw an interception in a Trojans uniform. It led to him having the longest pass attempt streak in the country without an interception. Against Arizona State this past weekend, though, that streak ended. Williams threw a red zone interception in the end zone when throwing to Jordan Addison:
Anyone watching the game knows, however, why Williams threw this interception. He had just dropped two dimes to Addison on the two plays before that; the first one being a first down completion for 24 yards to the ASU 20-yard line, and the second being another first down completion for 11 yards to the ASU nine-yard line.
Anyone who saw the game could tell that his confidence in his dominant connection with Addison skyrocketed through the roof. Then, it became even more evident when he looked at Addison as soon as he snapped the ball, and looked like he didn't even think about throwing the ball anywhere else but Addison's way on the play.
After the play, ESPN showed Williams running back to the sideline and appeared to be motioning to the sideline that he knew what he did wrong, that it was on him, and that it wouldn't happen again. And it won't. Williams has made bad throws this season, but hasn't been over-reliant on a connection with a receiver so far this season until that play. This isn't a problem SC has to worry about happening consistently.
USC Football QB Caleb Williams now knows what happened the one time he didn't go through his progressions and just toss it up to his WR1.
Again, Caleb Williams motioned to the USC Football sideline that he was specifically aware of what the mistake was. He also kept his head up; which goes to show that he wasn't fazed by the mistake at all.
Again, it was very evident in what the specific mistake was. It wasn't that he didn't have a good enough arm to fit a ball into a window, but it was a mental mistake that really took place as soon as he snapped the ball, and likely even before then of course. A mental mistake that he hasn't committed all season until now, and one that is very easily correctable. All he has to do is trust the offense and not force any specific connection.
It wouldn't be wise to expect Williams to do this again, especially now that he's aware of why the specific pick happened. Therefore, take the interception for what it was. His first in his last seven games, and a result of a mistake he doesn't ever make, and now knows specifically not to make after he paid the price for it the one time he made it.
This pick was of course a fluke in that he's thrown one INT in his last seven games. It's also a fluke in that this type of interception isn't likely to happen much, if at all, in the future. And considering that he hasn't thrown any other picks in his last seven games at all for any other sort of blunder, interceptions in general are likely not to come for Williams much at all this season.
He already wasn't very turnover-prone last season, throwing just four interceptions in his seven starts for the Oklahoma Sooners. He's been even better protecting the football, as this is his only turnover all season.
Don't expect to see many more interceptions from him this season. It all starts with a great opportunity for him to keep building his strong decision-making against Washington State on Saturday.