When you take one look at USC quarterback Caleb Williams’ statistics, it’s easy to see why Arizona Cardinals fans have become so enamored with him. Through four games, Williams has completed 75 of 101 passing attempts for 1,200 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions for an outrageous 223.1 passer rating.
These numbers aren’t just “off the charts,” they are something out of one of those old NCAA Football video games. It’s almost like opposing defenses Williams is playing are on Freshman Mode difficulty, and it’s one reason why he’s winning games left and right and putting up Heisman-worthy numbers.
It’s also the exact reason Cardinals fans need to step back and consider the big picture, because Williams has been set up to succeed in 2023. Since the preseason, USC has been a Top 10 team, and Williams has been considered the nation’s top quarterback, but when you play four lackluster opponents, you should be playing as well as you have.
Arizona Cardinals fans need to look at Williams’ level of competition
So far, Williams’ opponents have a collective record of 3-13, but it gets even worse from there. Half of his opponents aren’t playing in Power Five conferences, as he’s so far beaten the likes of San Jose State and Nevada. As for those who are in the Power Five, Stanford and Arizona State, each respective program is going through a rebuilding year and aren’t expected to be anywhere near contention in 2023.
Williams will finally have more competition next week when he and the Trojans will face what should be a seething Colorado Buffaloes team. Then they have a pair of games against the Arizona Wildcats and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish - the latter of whom should also be seeing red following a heartbreaking loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Other tough schools on the schedule include the Utah Utes, Washington Huskies, Oregon Ducks, and UCLA Bruins. We will get a much better look at exactly what kind of quarterback Caleb Williams is when he finally plays real competition instead of the weak opponents he’s had little trouble against during the season’s early going.
(Statistics and schedule provided by ESPN.com)