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The 2022 Heisman Trophy race just got significantly clearer. USC quarterback Caleb Williams made a definitive late-season statement with a dazzling four-touchdown performance in Saturday's 38-27 win for the No. 6 Trojans over No. 15 Notre Dame. Williams' ability to create has always been a strength, but several plays against the Fighting Irish made it feel as though his Heisman moment had come. 

With USC leading by 10 points late in the third quarter, Williams single-handedly dealt the Irish a haymaker with his athleticism. On second-and-13, Williams found himself in trouble in the pocket, but he didn't panic. Instead, he ran around in the backfield, broke multiple tackles and weaved through Notre Dame defenders to pick up a first down.

Just a couple plays later at the start of the fourth quarter, Williams used his legs to beat the defense again. This time, he avoided the pass rush, rolled out of the pocket, and scrambled into the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown run.

Following an interception by USC late in the fourth quarter, Williams hammered the final nail into Notre Dame's coffin with a 16-yard touchdown run.

His 267 total yards are certainly good enough, but his impact clearly went beyond his yardage total. Williams was a force. Entering this game, Williams was already one of the frontrunners for the Heisman Trophy with 3,480 yards passing, 316 yards rushing and 40 total touchdowns. This showing against Notre Dame may have just sealed the deal.

Williams did get some outside help this weekend, too. The other clear favorite to win the Heisman, Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud, threw a pair of interceptions in a 22-point loss to rival Michigan. That will hurt his candidacy, but it should go a long way towards helping Williams.

If Williams does hoist the Heisman Trophy on Dec. 10, he would become the third quarterback to do so under head coach Lincoln Riley. As the head coach at Oklahoma, Riley developed two Heisman winners in Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, both of whom also went on to become the No. 1 overall pick in their subsequent NFL Drafts.