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Caleb Williams to skip USC's Holiday Bowl trip, fueling NFL expectations

Last season's Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Caleb Williams will not play for USC in the Holiday Bowl, fueling the expectation he will enter the upcoming NFL draft.

Williams won't be in the lineup when the Trojans (7-5) face Louisville in their bowl game in San Diego on Dec. 27, USC coach Lincoln Riley said Monday.

Williams has been widely expected to enter the draft all year, and he is a strong candidate to be selected No. 1 overall after two impressive seasons at USC.

Related: UCLA to play Boise State in LA Bowl at SoFi Stadium; USC set to play Louisville in Holiday Bowl at Petco Park

He won the Heisman in 2022 with a spectacular debut season in Los Angeles after transferring from Oklahoma. He then passed for 3,633 yards with 30 touchdown passes and five interceptions this season, his third in college football.

Backup Miller Moss and touted freshman Malachi Nelson will be the top candidates to lead USC against the Cardinals, but Riley said he hadn't decided who will be his quarterback. The Trojans struggled mightily down the stretch this season despite Williams' solid play, losing five of their final six games.

Williams has passed for 10,082 yards with 93 TD passes and just 14 interceptions in his three years at Oklahoma and USC. He also rushed for 960 yards with 27 touchdowns.

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