Caleb Williams begins his Heisman defense Saturday for USC. Good luck finding it.
USC is one of the most-hyped teams of 2023. Its opener is a Week Zero game on Pac-12 Network. Look no further than that fact for why the conference of champions has fallen apart.
In USC’s regular-season finale last year, Caleb Williams put on a show.
He ran circles around Notre Dame defenders, rushing for three touchdowns. He played to the sold-out Coliseum crowd, announcing to Hollywood that the Trojans were back in the mix as a college football power.
It was a Heisman-worthy display, a rivalry-game performance that all but clinched the trophy for No. 13.
It was also, statistically, just another game for the QB.
Williams threw for 232 yards against the Irish. His season average was 324.
He rushed for 35 yards that night. His season average was 27.
The difference was the audience: 6.68 million viewers tuned in to watch the game on ABC, more than three times the Trojans’ regular-season average of 2.07 million viewers per contest.
On Saturday, Williams will begin his Heisman Trophy defense as the Trojans host San Jose State in a Week Zero game.
The game kicks at 8 p.m. ET, normally a prime window for national viewership.
The game is also on the Pac-12 Network, meaning much of the country won’t be able to see it.