After Falling To No. 12 Utah In The Pac-12 Championship Game, No. 4 USC Sees Its Playoff Chances Diminished

In a 47-24 victory against No. 4 Southern California on Friday night to win the Pac-12 Championship and end USC’s dreams of making the College Football Playoff, No. 12 Utah battered a limping, bleeding Caleb Williams.

The Trojans’ (11-2) loss might let Ohio State (11-1) to replace them in the playoffs. In the CFP rankings, USC is fourth and Ohio State is one spot behind.

Utah’s strongest supporter has to be Ohio State. With the Big Ten championship game on Saturday, the Buckeyes move up in the rankings, passing 12-0 Michigan for second place, giving the Big Ten league two playoff teams for the first time. Additionally, it would prolong the Pac-12’s playoff drought; Washington was the last member of that conference to reach the postseason in 2017.

Although Utah (10-3) is going to the Rose Bowl, they were originally planning to go there regardless of how the championship game turned out. They managed to defeat the Trojans 43-42 on October 15 in Salt Lake City, which is why they are to blame for USC’s sole losses.

Cam Rising passed for 310 yards and three touchdowns as the Utes amassed 533 yards of offence in the rematch.

Williams’ passing totaled 363 yards and three touchdowns. Heisman Trophy front-runner going into the game, but after getting hurt in the opening frame, he wasn’t himself.

After building a 17-3 lead early in the second quarter because to some outstanding play by Williams, it appeared as though the Trojans would easily win the contest.

On a 59-yard run in the first quarter during which he took a significant hit at the conclusion, he seemed to damage his left knee or leg and also sustained a nasty cut on the pinky finger of his throwing hand. After a strong first quarter in which the Trojans outgained Utah in total yards 194-70 and Williams caught both touchdown passes, he spent the majority of the game limping and wasn’t himself.

In the final 3:55 of the first half, the Utes scored two touchdowns to tie the game at 17 after USC failed to convert a fourth-and-8 from Utah’s 37-yard line. The match was starting to resemble the shootout the Utes won in October rather than a rout.

In the second half, the game occasionally took on that tone, but USC was unable to stop Utah, which overcame their two-touchdown deficit by outscoring the Trojans 44-7.

A Record Of Attendance (USC Vs Utah)

This was the greatest crowd ever for a Pac-12 Championship at a neutral site with a reported sellout of 61,195. It surpassed the prior record of 58,476 spectators. who attended the 2015 Southern California-Stanford match in Santa Clara, California?

The Implications of USC's Loss for the College Football Playoff Race

For USC and Caleb Williams to most certainly secure a berth in this year’s College Football Playoff, they needed just one victory.

The Trojans (11-2, 8-2 Pac-12) appeared to be in a race for one of the four coveted spots and the Pac-12’s first appearance in the top four since 2017 for nearly 20 minutes against Utah in the Pac-12 championship game. Williams, who was coming off a huge performance against Notre Dame, appeared ready for another explosive outing in his pursuit of the Heisman Trophy this year.

Prior to the Utes (9-3, 7-2 Pac-12) weathering the rain and tying the game at 17 at halftime, the Trojans surged out to an early 14-3 lead. Williams, who had a bloody gash on his right pinky finger, completed 13 of 19 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns in one half of play.

Nevertheless, Utah gained momentum in the second half. On their route to winning their second consecutive Pac-12 championship, the Utes outscored the Trojans 30-7 in the second half.

With the Trojans’ defeat, the Pac-12’s prospects of fielding a team in the CFP are all but eliminated.

There are still many issues to be resolved, including the conference championship games that No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Michigan, and No. 3 TCU each have to play on Saturday. The final CFP rankings are not expected to include USC because the Trojans have two defeats, both of which were to Utah.

11-1 Ohio State at No. 5 and 10-2 Alabama at No. 6 are just behind them. Both possibilities are now more likely given this defeat, but if the selection committee sticks to last week’s rankings, the Buckeyes may end up filling the fourth and final playoff spot if USC loses.

Although Ohio State won’t participate in the conference final, its lone defeat came at the hands of Michigan, which faces 8-4 Purdue with the chance to win the Big Ten and remain unblemished.

On Friday, December 2, 2022 in Las Vegas, California, USC Trojans defensive back Calen Bullock is tackled by Utah Utes wide receiver Luca Caldarella during the third quarter of the Pac-12 Championship at Allegiant Stadium.

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Game Highlights Of USC Vs Utah

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