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What No. 7 USC’s win over No. 16 UCLA means for Pac-12 title, College Football Playoff

The Trojans are back in the playoff mix.

Caleb Williams of the USC Trojans runs the ball against Mo Osling III of the UCLA Bruins during the third quarter in the game at Rose Bowl on November 19, 2022 in Pasadena, California.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The No. 7 USC Trojans survived a late scare against the No. 16 UCLA Bruins, holding on for a 48-45 victory and cementing their status as a contender in the Pac-12 and the College Football Playoff. Quarterback Caleb Williams made some mistakes late but played a largely flawless game and has now moved up in the Heisman odds table at DraftKings Sportsbook. He’s only behind CJ Stroud now and is listed at +140.

The Bruins nearly had a chance to drive down for a winning touchdown in the final minutes after the Trojans punted for the first time in the game. Dorian Thompson-Robinson threw his third interception of the contest, allowing USC to run out the clock.

The Trojans are now in Pac-12 title game with a 8-1 mark in the conference. USC’s final game is against Notre Dame, so that won’t count towards the Pac-12 standings. The Irish have already derailed one team’s playoff hopes this season, so this is no cakewalk to close the regular season.

With Tennessee going down and LSU having two losses, USC is very much alive in the playoff conversation with this win. The Trojans should move closer to a spot after one of Ohio State and Michigan lose in Week 13. If TCU were to lose one of its last two games, USC could easily enter the top four in the committee’s final rankings.