No team in seven years has opened a season scoring at the rate Caleb Williams and Southern California are so far.
The Trojans have scored at least 50 points in each of their first three games for the first time in program history.
Their 56-10 rout of Stanford on Saturday ran their three-game total to 178 — the most in the Football Bowl Subdivision since Louisville combined for 195 points against Charlotte, Syracuse and Florida State to open the 2016 season, according to Sportradar.
The 178 points are tied for second-most in any three-game stretch. The Trojans amassed 186 points in the first three games of the 1925 season and 178 in the first three games in 2005.
USC’s 49 first-half points against Stanford were its most since it piled up the same number against Notre Dame in 1974.
Williams played only the first half against the Cardinal and threw for 312 yards and three TDs. The 2022 Heisman Trophy winner has a nation-leading 12 TD passes against no interceptions.
The Trojans racked up 433 yards of offense and got seven touchdowns by seven players while building a 49-3 halftime lead — the third-largest in Pac-12 history — in the conference’s final opening game, at least in its current configuration.
USC is headed to the Big Ten and Stanford will join the ACC next year after the collapse of the conference they’ve called home in various forms since 1922. This was also the last scheduled meeting between USC and its oldest rival in a series that began in 1905, although the private schools could resume it in the future.
“We’re proud of taking advantage of the moment, in that this is potentially the last SC-Stanford game for a while,” said Riley, who won at Stanford last year in his first road game at USC. “This was a series that we talked with the team a lot last year. This was a series that in recent years had went a little bit of a different way. I’m really, big-picture, proud to be able to get the final last two (meetings) here. It was important for us to seize the moment and opportunity.”
Williams only got seven offensive series, but he showed off every aspect of the talent expected to make him the No. 1 pick in the next NFL draft. He made a 21-yard TD run on USC’s first drive, pushing through Stanford’s Zahran Manley for the final few yards, and he threw a spectacular 75-yard TD pass to Rice in the second quarter to put USC up 42-3.
“Not pacing myself at all,” Williams said. “I’m going out there trying to kill. That’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to make everybody feel our pain and play on our own terms, like Coach said. Take that identity of ourselves and figure that out.”