SC quarterback Caleb Williams was heroic in his performance, but multiple injuries appeared to hamper him all game long. And the Trojans defense, which had been high-risk and high-reward all season, couldn’t do enough to keep the Utes from their second-straight Pac-12 title.
With the loss the No. 4-ranked Trojans will sit at 11-2 this season, with both losses to the No. 11 Utes. It would be one thing if it was close, but after a 17-17 score at halftime, the Utes cruised to victory on both sides of the ball. But their loss was a worse one than the one the No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes suffered last Saturday to the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines.
The loss means it’s likely the final four as of now are No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Michigan, No. 3 TCU... and No. 5 Ohio State. A loss by the Horned Frogs tomorrow might even be enough to get the two-loss-and-no-championship Alabama Crimson Tide into the semifinals as well.
It’s a brutal loss for Lincoln Riley in his first season in Los Angeles, but they’ll have to be content with a quality bowl game and continued improvement.
And likely a returning Heisman Trophy winner in Williams at quarterback in 2023.