Heisman Watch: Caleb Williams makes a statement in Week 12

USC quarterback Caleb Williams shined brightly on the biggest stage of his young college career Saturday night.

Going up against cross-town rival UCLA with a spot in the Pac-12 Championship game on the line, Williams put on a passing clinic in front of nearly 90,000 fans at the Rose Bowl. The Trojans’ superstar QB completed 32 of 43 passes for 470 yards and two touchdowns in a memorable 48-45 win over the Bruins.

While Williams enjoyed a career game Saturday, Ohio State QB CJ Stroud and Michigan RB Blake Corum also put together good outings, keeping them on the short list of Heisman favorites. In the meantime, Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker was enjoying a solid outing before suffering a non-contact injury early in the fourth quarter of the Vols’ 63-38 loss to South Carolina.

The question now is where Williams will stand among the other Heisman favorites. Did the USC QB close the gap?

Here’s how the top Heisman candidates fared this week heading into Week 12.

Note: Players are ranked based on FOX Bet odds entering Week 12.

1. Ohio State QB CJ Stroud +150 (Bet $10 to win $25 total)

Stroud had an average game Saturday by his standards, completing 18 of 30 passes for 241 yards and a touchdown. It was just the fourth time this season the Heisman winner hasn’t topped 250 yards passing and the third time he hasn’t thrown multiple touchdown passes in a game.

Despite not looking like his typically dominant self, the Buckeyes’ standout QB still played error-free football, relying on freshman Dallan Hayden to carry the load and set up a much-anticipated matchup against rival Michigan. All eyes will be on Stroud as he looks to have a “Heisman moment” next weekend, with a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game on the line.

Ohio State holds Maryland

RJ Young reacts to CJ Stroud and No. 2 Ohio State holding off the Maryland Terrapins in Week 12.

Ranking Week 11: 1

Trends: Steady.

Next: Vs. Michigan on November 26th.

2: Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker +400 (Bet $10 to win $50 total)

Hooker had a nice outing Saturday, throwing for 247 yards and three touchdowns, but the Volunteers’ star QB suffered a non-contact injury early in the fourth quarter. The injury occurred when Hooker ran a pick play and his left leg buckled, causing him to limp.

Statistically speaking, Hooker had one of the best days among the Heisman finalists, but if the injury turns out to be serious and he is forced to miss time, his Heisman chances will take a big hit.

Ranking Week 11: 2

Trends: Below.

Next: At Vanderbilt on Nov. 26.

3. Michigan RB Blake Corum +550 (Bet $10 to win $65 total)

Facing an outstanding Illinois run defense, Corum was once again the engine that gets Michigan’s offense going, gaining 108 yards and a touchdown on just 18 carries. But he left the win over the Illini late in the first half with a knee injury, and while he returned in the second half, his comeback was short-lived.

Coach Jim Harbaugh said there is nothing structurally wrong with Corum’s knee, but the injury is certainly a concern with a matchup against the Buckeyes.

Ranking Week 11: 4

Trends: Steady.

Next: At Ohio State on Nov. 26.

4. North Carolina QB Drake Maye +600 (Bet $10 to win $70 total)

It was a rough performance Saturday for the Tar Heels’ talented signal-caller. Maye completed just 16 of 30 passes for 202 yards in North Carolina’s 21-17 loss at Georgia Tech.

Maye, who led all FBS signal callers with 34 passing touchdowns entering Saturday, failed to throw a TD pass for the first time this season. He was sacked six times and had a costly interception late in the third quarter that led to a Georgia Tech go-ahead touchdown.

Ranking Week 11: 6

Trends: Below.

Next: Vs. NC State on Nov. 25.

5. USC QB Caleb Williams +1200 (Bet $10 to win $130 total)

On a day when several other Heisman contenders either struggled or left with injury, Williams shined brightly in USC’s impressive 48-45 win over rival UCLA. Williams completed 32 of 43 passes for 470 yards and two touchdowns in the win. The Oklahoma transfer added 32 yards and a score on the ground as well.

It was the fourth time in his last five games that Williams had more than 350 yards and multiple touchdowns. With the win, Williams and the Trojans secured a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

Ranking Week 11: 3

Trends: Above.

Next: Vs. Notre Dame on November 26.

USC’s Caleb Williams finds Jordan Addison for the 35-yard touchdown

USC's Caleb Williams finds Jordan Addison for the 35-yard touchdown

USC’s Caleb Williams finds Jordan Addison for a 35-yard touchdown to give the Trojans a 27-24 lead over the Bruins.

6. Agriculture QB Stetson Bennett +1400 (Bet $10 to win $150 total)

It didn’t look pretty at times for Bennett and the No. 1-ranked Bulldogs, but they were able to withstand a late-game rally from Kentucky to secure a 16-6 victory, marking the program’s second straight undefeated season in the game of the SEC.

Bennett completed 13 of 19 passes for 116 yards with one interception in the win. He’s thrown five interceptions in his last four games, which won’t appeal to Heisman voters.

Ranking Week 11: 7

Trends: Below.

Next: Vs. Georgia Tech on Nov. 26.

7. TCU QB Max Duggan +6000 (Bet $10 to win $610 total)

The Horned Frogs remained undefeated with a stunning late comeback to defeat Baylor, 29-28, on Saturday. Duggan, naturally, had a lot to do with the win, totaling 377 yards (327 passing, 50 rushing) and a pair of touchdowns.

With TCU currently in position to make the College Football Playoff at No. 4, Duggan’s profile will continue to rise. It will be up to him to capitalize on the attention.

Max Duggan hits Taye Barber with a 77-yard pass

Max Duggan hits Taye Barber with a 77-yard pass

Max Duggan’s 77-yard pass to Taye Barber led to Kendre Miller’s 2-yard touchdown against Baylor on Saturday.

Ranking Week 11: 9

Trends: Above.

Next: Vs. Iowa State on Nov. 26.

8. LSU QB Jaden Daniels +7500 (Bet $10 to win $760 total)

Daniels put together a solid outing against an overmatched UAB team on Saturday. The Arizona State transfer completed 22 of 29 passes for 297 yards and a touchdown while adding 111 yards and a score on the ground. He has now totaled 275 yards and two or more touchdowns in four of his last five games for LSU.

Ranking Week 11: Unranked

Trends: Steady.

Next: At Texas A&M on Nov. 26.

9. Alabama QB Bryce Young +8000 (Bet $10 to win $810 total)

It’s hard to take much away from Bama’s season finale matchup Saturday against … Austin Peay?

The Crimson Tide won easily 34-0. Young had a nice day in limited action — 18-for-24, 221 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions — in what was essentially a bye week with a low-key controversy. I can’t see this helping or hurting Young’s chances of repeating as a Heisman winner.

Ranking Week 11: 8

Trends: Steady.

Next: Vs. Auburn on Nov. 26.

10. Oregon QB Bo Nix +10000 (Bet $10 to win $1,010 total)

The Knicks put on a valiant performance Saturday in an impressive 20-17 win over Utah. The Ducks’ star QB has been dealing with an ankle injury all week, but it wouldn’t keep him out of this top-12 matchup. He completed 25 of 37 passes for 287 yards and a touchdown in the win.

If the Ducks can get to rival Oregon State next Saturday, they’ll punch their ticket to Las Vegas and a date with USC in the Pac-12 title game. If that happens, all eyes will be on the Knicks against Williams in a high-scoring game.

Ranking Week 11: 5

Trends: Steady.

Next: At Oregon State on Nov. 26.

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