Caleb Williams will participate in the bowl game if he rejoins USC in 2024

The Bruins will travel to the Coliseum to face off against their crosstown rivals, the Trojans, on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on ABC.

LOS ANGELES – The USC Trojans have a record of 7-4 as they approach the final game of the season, which will be played against the UCLA Bruins at the Coliseum. It is worth noting that Caleb Williams’ birthday falls on the same day as the game and this may also be his last game as a Trojan.

Here are three takeaways from practice:

Caleb Williams will decide whether to leave or stay at USC after Thanksgiving

Williams will turn twenty-two on Saturday and he is eager to face the Bruins. He understands the excitement of playing football on his birthday, but this rivalry game matters a lot to him. Since it falls on his special day, you can expect a tremendous performance from him.

“Obviously, it does bring a little bit of extra excitement for me, just myself. Just another game trying to go through it all and do the things I gotta do, to try and seek a win on Saturday.”

The upcoming game against the 6-4 Bruins might be the final game for Williams in a USC uniform. However, Williams hasn’t completely ruled out the possibility of returning for his senior year and skipping the NFL draft. During his media availability on Wednesday, he discussed his decision-making process and the chance of playing in a possible bowl game.

“If I make the decision to leave, I have to make that decision towards the end of it. Since we’re not playing on Thanksgiving , I get to be around my family and things like that. I get to make certain decisions I haven’t made yet but obviously if I’m staying here at USC, I don’t think i’d not be out there.”

There are a few things that surprised Williams this season and it was the wins and losses.

“I’m surprised to be 7-4 , it’s always a surprised to me.”

Williams expressed great enthusiasm about the upcoming game against their rival on Saturday, which suggests that he may be interested in returning to the team next year. During the primetime broadcast, he stated that they would demonstrate to everyone what they are capable of next year. This raises the question of whether Williams will be a part of next year’s team. While there is no confirmation, there is a possibility.

“We get to show the world who USC is gonna be next year.”

According to Lincoln Riley, the possibility of Williams leaving USC after two seasons, despite winning the Heisman Trophy, is something he hasn’t thought about much yet. While we wait for Williams to make a decision to return, nothing has been confirmed.

Earlier this year, there was a suggestion that Williams should consider shutting down for the rest of the season after the team’s loss to Utah. However, Williams stated that he never considered this option. For him, the team is like family as he spends most of his time with his teammates.

“Just the nature of how I was raised, and then being around these guys all year round. I work out with them, we run, lift, we go out and have fun together, we enjoy each others’ presence, so it means the world to me to be able to end this season.”

Williams earns incredible respect from his team, demonstrating his great leadership skills on the field. Although this year did not go as expected, he is proud of his team for battling hard in the last few games, despite losing four out of the last five.

Lincoln Riley prepares for the finale

On Thursday, Lincoln Riley stated that he has not yet discussed Williams’ future in the NFL with him. Both of them are currently focused on their upcoming game against UCLA, which is also a rivalry game to close out the regular season. Williams has been concentrating on the present rather than worrying about his future. The two have been working together for three seasons, and their last game together could be on Saturday afternoon at the Coliseum against UCLA, if Riley does not follow Williams to the NFL.

“I haven’t thought about that that much, Just kind of in the moment here. We haven’t had any specific discussions towards it.”

Riley discussed coaching Williams for three years, one in Oklahoma and two at USC, and managing him both on and off the field in an interview with The Sporting Tribune.

“I appreciate him being pretty fearless in terms of some of the unique opportunities and taking them at a young age, whether it was taking over at Oklahoma his freshman year and obviously as I reference earlier, you know coming out here to help us be successful and jump starting this program, and that takes a lot of guts.”

Riley and I were discussing the leadership of Williams, and how grateful he was for not taking another job when he became the head coach at USC. They’ve been working together for a long time, and while they have had ups and downs, what Riley values the most is the relationship he has with his quarterback.

“The relationship, the time in there with the QBs, the times together that we’ve been able to spend throughout the years. I think the quality times, the laughs, the fun talks, serious talks.” says Riley.

We understand that players and coaches spend a lot of time together. However, Riley said that he has developed a deeper appreciation for this time.

“You end up spending so much time with these guys, they just become like your family.”

As the year comes to a close, one of the main priorities for the team is to find the perfect fit for the next defensive coordinator. Coach Riley will be focusing on an important task of replacing Alex Grinch with a new defensive coordinator.

USC football’s defense has allowed 30+ points in their last six games, including five games where they allowed 40 or more points. Riley now looks to fill the vacancy after the team’s regular season finale.

What to expect from the Trojans against the Bruins

On Saturday, the 93rd match-up between the Bruins and Trojans will take place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. UCLA has won only 6 out of the last 24 meetings, but the last time both teams met at the Coliseum in 2021, UCLA won 62-33. As well, both teams were unranked at that time, just like they will be this Saturday. The city of Los Angeles will be eagerly watching the game for bragging rights.

There’s one player to look out for and it’s running back MarShawn Lloyd. He’s been performing at an impressive level, currently ranking first in the Pac-12 Conference with 7.4 rush yards per carry. Lloyd missed the last home game against Washington but returned to the field for the game against Oregon.

The Bruins have had five quarterbacks play this season, but most recently, Collin Schlee was given his first start against Arizona State. He completed 11 of his 18 passes for 117 yards and one touchdown. While there hasn’t been an official announcement about who will start at quarterback for UCLA, it appears that Ethan Garbers will be returning from injury.

The Bruins football team has seven receivers who have scored touchdowns this season. Meanwhile, the Trojans have Brenden Rice, who is currently ranked No. 3 in the nation and tied for No. 1 in the Pac-12 Conference for receiving touchdowns with a total of 11. He is also ranked No. 22 in the nation for total touchdowns.

The annual football game between USC and UCLA results in the winning team taking possession of the Victory Bell, a 295-pound bell from a freight locomotive. Originally gifted to UCLA in 1939 by their Alumni Association, the bell was stolen by a group of USC students in 1941 and hidden in various locations for over a year. This caused controversy and the school authorities had to intervene. However, the bell resurfaced in 1942, and by mutual agreement, it became the trophy awarded to the winner of the USC-UCLA football game.