When it comes to USC football quarterbacks, superstar prospect Caleb Williams has been the talk of the football world recently. However, with Williams' imminent departure to the NFL, redshirt junior Miller Moss has a chance to take the Trojans' starting job and run with it.

Moss spoke about head coach Lincoln Riley's message to him after his breakout Holiday Bowl performance last season, via ESPN's Paolo Uggetti.

“He was like, ‘Hey, great job. I just want to let you know we're not going to take an older transfer,'” Moss said. “I think Lincoln really wanted to see me play and then was going to make a decision because I think he wanted to see if what happened in the game confirmed his practice evaluation.”

Riley had previously mentioned that USC would be looking to the transfer portal to replace Williams, but he changed his tune after watching Moss toss 372 yards and a program bowl-record six touchdowns in 42-28 victory over Louisville. Is Riley's confidence in Moss well-founded, or is he overreacting to a one-off performance?

Miller Moss may not be Caleb Williams, but he deserves his chance to start for USC football

SC Trojans quarterback Miller Moss (7) throws a pass against the Louisville Cardinals during the first half at Petco Park.
© Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Moss may not ever be on the Heisman Winner's level, but it makes sense to roll with him over a new transfer. The Los Angeles native has had three seasons to develop his game and be around the program behind the scenes. Why go with a new player that doesn't know the system or anyone in the building?

While it's just one game, Moss' mental strength and resolve on the big stage was impressive. A quarterback can't break a team record in a bowl game for his first college start without being ready for the moment.

“I really just wanted to play freely going into that game,” Moss told ESPN last month. “I didn't want to have any regrets. Whatever happened, I wanted to go out there and let it rip.”

Additionally, he had to deal with the rumors about Riley scouring the transfer portal for his next signal-caller.

“I'd be lying if I said it wasn't difficult to filter that out and just focus on the game,” Moss said. “And I told Lincoln and Kliff [Kingsbury] that.”

Quarterbacking the USC football team is a big responsibility, one that comes with plenty of pressure and scrutiny. After all, the program has 11 claimed national titles, and resides in one of the biggest media markets in the country. It's not easy for somebody to suddenly step in and bear the weight of that reality, but Moss exceeded expectations in a significant moment.

The next step for him, of course, will be to prove it over the course of an entire season. UNLV transfer Jayden Maiava will continue to challenge for playing time as the offseason progresses, but the redshirt sophomore isn't expected to win the job from Moss outright, via Trojans Wire. With Moss being one year older, he has the seniority advantage.

Now that USC' is switching to the Big Ten, there's no doubt that this upcoming season will be an entirely different experience for the program. If Moss can consistently show out in a conference known for good defense, then he may truly be the real deal.