As the stretch run of the college football season has now arrived, there will be a multitude of storylines to watch over the remainder of the regular season. For one, there still is no clear-cut frontrunner for the 2022 Heisman Trophy award, although players such as USC quarterback Caleb Williams have made a strong case to be a serious contender for the sport’s most prestigious individual honor.

Williams heads into USC’s upcoming home clash with Colorado ranking in the top 10 in all the FBS in multiple stats, including passing yards (2,742) and touchdown passes (28). He is in top form heading into the conference matchup against Colorado; he has recorded a combined 16 passing touchdowns and zero interceptions in the team’s last four games.

There are multiple notable candidates for this year’s Heisman Trophy award, but for USC head coach Lincoln Riley, he believes that Williams deserves to be the top contender for the honor.

“He’s playing at a really, really high level,” Riley said during a press conference on Thursday. “He’s had one turnover, a lot of touchdowns. His team has won a lot of games. He’s done it with different ways, he’s done it here as of late without some really impactful players being able to play both on the line and obviously the skill positions.

“He’s been as valuable as any player in the country. I think it’s pretty simple.”

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As Riley touched on, Williams has been quite efficient when running the USC offense this season. The versatile passer has only thrown one interception this year, and even as the likes of Jordan Addison and Mario Williams have had injury woes as of late, he continues to anchor the offense with relative ease.

In the big picture, Riley sees that Williams simply defines valuable.

“This stuff always plays out, a lot of that stuff, just like conference races will be decided here as time goes,” Riley said. “Up to this point, I don’t think there’s been a better and more valuable player in college football than him.”

For now, the Trojans will look to secure a crucial home victory over Colorado before they turn their attention to a road showdown against rival UCLA.