USC football absolutely destroyed Stanford on Saturday, running out to a 49-3 halftime lead before cruising to a 56-10 win. While the Trojans effectively ended the game by halftime as Caleb Williams continues a repeat Heisman Trophy campaign, head coach Lincoln Riley had a warning for his team after the game.
“You play good and everybody thinks it’s perfect and it’s not,” said Riley, per Thuc Nhi Nguyen of the Los Angeles Times. “If you play terrible, everybody thinks you can’t get one yard and you’re horrible, on either side, and it always gets blown out of proportion. We’re doing some good things. The next game’s going to be a totally different challenge. The next game after that is going to be a totally different challenge. It just resets. So I like what we’re doing, but a bigger challenge is coming.”
Riley doesn't want his team getting too big for its britches just because they won this game so easily. The coach knows there will be much tougher games ahead, so the Trojans must stay focused and always look to improve. One of those tough games coming up for USC is against Deion Sanders and his upstart Colorado football team, though before that comes Arizona State on the road. The Trojans can't get caught looking ahead to that road showdown against Coach Prime and the Buffaloes.
Of course, we can still also appreciate the greatness on display by Williams and USC football in the moment. It was truly a dominant showing on Saturday against Stanford with the reigning Heisman winner throwing for 281 yards and three scores. He added a 21-yard rushing touchdown to his tally with his night ending early thanks to the score. The Trojans were so explosive in the first half that their mascot, Traveler, was too tired to make his celebratory run around the field after the sixth touchdown.