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Heisman Watch: Caleb Williams makes statement in Week 12

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

Going up against in-state 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 victory over the Bruins.

While Williams enjoyed a career-game on Saturday, Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud and Michigan RB Blake Corum put together solid outings as well, keeping them on the short list of Heisman favorites. Meanwhile, 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?

See how the leading Heisman candidates heading into Week 12 fared this week.

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

1. Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud +150 (bet $10 to win $25 total)

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

Despite not looking like his typical dominant self, the Buckeyes’ standout QB still played mistake-free football, relying on freshman running back 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 off Maryland

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

Week 11 rank: 1

Trending: Steady.

Next: Vs. Michigan on Nov. 26.

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

Hooker put together a nice outing on 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 an option play and his left leg buckled, causing him to fumble the ball.

From a statistical standpoint, Hooker had one of the better days among Heisman finalists, but if the injury proves to be serious and he is forced to miss time, his Heisman odds would take a major hit.

Week 11 rank: 2

Trending: Down.

Next: At Vanderbilt on Nov. 26.

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

Facing a great Illinois run defense, Corum was once again the engine that makes the Michigan offense go, gaining 108 yards and scoring a touchdown on only 18 carries. But he left the win over the Illini late in the first half with a knee injury, and while he came back in the second half, his return was brief and limited.

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

Week 11 rank: 4

Trending: 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 showing 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 to Georgia Tech

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

Week 11 rank: 6

Trending: Down.

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 candidates either struggled or left with an injury, Williams shined bright in USC’s impressive 48-45 win over rival UCLA. Williams completed 32 of 43 passes for 470 yards and two touchdowns in the victory. The Oklahoma transfer added 32 yards and a score on the ground as well. 

Williams’ 470 yards through the air marked a career-high and is the fourth time in his last five games he has thrown for more than 350 yards and multiple touchdowns. With the victory, Williams and Trojans secured a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

Week 11 rank: 3

Trending: Up.

Next: Vs. Notre Dame on Nov. 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 to give the Trojans a 27-24 lead over the Bruins.

6. Georgia 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 and secure a 16-6 win, marking the program’s second consecutive unbeaten season in SEC play.

Bennett completed 13 of 19 passes for 116 yards with an interception in the victory. He has thrown five interceptions in his last four games, which won’t be attractive to Heisman voters.

Week 11 rank: 7

Trending: Down.

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 beat Baylor, 29-28, on Saturday. Duggan, naturally, had a lot to do with the victory, compiling 377 total yards (327 passing. 50 rushing) and a pair of touchdowns.

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

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.

Week 11 rank: 9

Trending: Up.

Next: Vs. Iowa State on Nov. 26.

8. LSU QB Jayden 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 was now totaled 275-plus yards and two-or-more touchdowns in four of his last five games for LSU.

Week 11 rank: Unranked

Trending: 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 late-season matchup Saturday with … Austin Peay? 

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

Week 11 rank: 8

Trending: Steady.

Next: Vs. Auburn on Nov. 26.

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

Nix put together a gutsy performance on Saturday in an impressive 20-17 win over Utah. The Ducks’ star QB was battling an ankle injury throughout the week, but it wasn’t going to hold 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 by rival Oregon State next Saturday, they will book their ticket to Las Vegas and a date with USC in the Pac-12 title game. If that does happen, all eyes will be on Nix vs. Williams in what should be a high-scoring game.

Week 11 rank: 5

Trending: Steady.

Next: At Oregon State on Nov. 26.

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