On Saturday morning, when it was getting warm, at least a dozen people had gathered around Shadyur Sanders.
The cameras and cell phones were focused on Colorado quarterback, whose thick chain was adorned with his number 2 jersey. As the sun was rising over the eastern part of Folsom Field, Fozzy Boom’s microphone hung overhead in midfield.
In the far corner of the field, hidden without any big cameras, current Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams lay quietly spread out.
While Colorado has won popularity contests in college football, head coach Deon Sanders has dismantled the original college Hollywood “It” team using quarterback Williams and number 8 USC: they won on Saturday with a score of 48-41 on the scoreboard.
Williams finished with 403 passing yards, six touchdowns, and completed 30-for-40 passes with one interception as the Trojans (5-0, 3-0 PAC-12) extended their dominance to 17-0 in the series as they escaped from USC Colorado’s second spot. A comeback attempt. USC 48, Colorado 41, 1:43 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Colorado started at their 20-yard line and quickly tried to catch up as USC’s defense tried to prevent a double-digit deficit.
USC’s defense completed a run for just two yards after surrendering a touchdown, and Shadyur Sanders threw two passes for a total of 18 yards.
Colorado pushed a bit and then Sanders passed to Omarian Miller for a 15-yard distance.
USC called Colorado for a false start, first and 15, while establishing themselves for a false start. Sanders then passed to Jimmy Horn Jr. in the end zone. Colorado converted on extra points.
After the score, USC was called for a personal foul penalty, affecting the kickoff. USC missed the field goal attempt.
USC 48, Colorado 34, 5:58 remaining in the fourth quarter.
USC had the opportunity to gain momentum and move forward with another touchdown.
After a turnover in the Buffs’ turnover, the Trojans opened at Colorado 44.
Marshall Lloyd ran for two yards, and then Caleb Williams passed to Austin Jones for a 24-yard lead.
Jones ran for one yard, and Williams’ next pass was incomplete. Facing third and ninth at the Colorado 17, USC called a timeout.
Williams tried to take his usual role with a quick snap to beat the clock, but Colorado quickly caught on and sacked him.
Dennis Lynch missed a 39-yard field goal attempt, causing a stir in Folsom Field.
USC’s defense rose to the occasion to end Colorado’s drive.
USC 48, Colorado 34, 8:58 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Colorado started their campaign at their 20-yard line.
After running without any gain, Shadyur Sanders went to Omarian Miller for a 28-yard gain.
Colorado was at the USC 48, first and 10, when Sanders threw an incomplete pass. His next throw was on target, but USC was in a position to break it.
On third and 10 at the Colorado 48, Colorado ran the ball for five yards.
It remained at USC’s 47, fourth and fifth.
After the timeout, Sanders was sacked for a nine-yard loss, leading to a turnover on downs.
USC couldn’t stop Colorado’s pace and drive.
USC 48, Colorado 34, 10:29 remaining in the fourth quarter.
USC began their drive at their 25-yard line.
Caleb Williams ran for 13 yards.
Then, he connected with Tahj Washington for a 15-yard gain. Before that, Marshall Lloyd had been pushed out for a three-yard loss.
Facing third and fifth at USC’s 43, Lincoln Riley called a timeout.
Williams’ pass to Washington was incomplete, and USC punted.
USC 7, Colorado 0, 12:33 remaining in the first quarter.
After the touchback, USC started their drive at the 25-yard line.
Caleb Williams completed two passes to Tahj Washington for a 15-yard gain, after previously throwing Marshon Lloyd out for a three-yard loss due to a carry.
Before joining Rice for an 18-yard gain, Williams had plenty of time to scan the field as he faced third and ninth, dealing with an aggressive crowd. Before Lloyd’s 27-yard touchdown run, Williams threw to Lek Makri for an 18-yard drive.
Dennis Lynch scored additional points to complete the fast drive.
Caleb Williams told Matt Leinart that he doesn’t get rattled by pressure. Former USC Heisman winner Matt Leinart interviewed current USC Heisman winner Caleb Williams during the Fox pregame show.
Leinart asked Williams how this season differs from the previous season, considering he’s been consistently in the national headlines.
Williams stated, “I’ve participated in three or four national commercials, which is truly remarkable. I go home, and I’m watching other college games, hearing my voice, and seeing my face on TV is really weird. It’s been a great experience at such a young age, and I hope there’s still a lot more to come.”
Leinart inquired about how Williams manages the pressure of trying to replicate Heisman winner status and win national titles during the NFL crisis.
Williams replied, ”I don’t shy away from it. I don’t keep it at a distance. All the things you just mentioned are my dreams. Whether it’s the Heisman, winning a national championship, or going to the NFL and being a first pick, these have always been my dreams.
If I’m working so hard for something, why should it bother me? So, I go out there, be that person, be that player, and it’s usually a lot of fun.”
Freshman receiver Jacari Branch and senior safety Max Williams didn’t wear pads as they practiced for USC’s matchup against Colorado in Boulder.
Williams is coming off his career-best football game from the previous week against Arizona State, and his presence has opened the door for secure Bryce Young. The Trojan’s branch has been electric on special teams and specific teams, with two receiving touchdowns, one punt return touchdown, and one kick return touchdown.
Michael Jackson III and Dorian Singer were practicing as returners before the game.
The sideline is filled with famous faces as Dion Sanders has turned Boulder into the center of college football. Former NFL stars Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, decked out in special Golden Prime Passes, were among the big names roaming the Colorado sidelines before the college football game.