Brett Neilon saves USC with ‘The Push’ on Caleb Williams’ fourth-down conversion

With 2:51 left in the game, trailing Oregon State 14-10 and facing a fourth down and six at their own 43-yard line, it looked like the USC Trojans needed a miracle.

The play clock was running down, the Trojans offense looked out of sorts – like it had all night – and USC fans were wondering why Lincoln Riley was going for it in his own territory when he had all three timeouts left.

Williams received the snap right as the play clock expired, immediately felt pressure from Oregon State’s pass rush, and took off up the middle on a scramble. He was met with a big hit short of the first-down marker, and it looked like the Beavers were going to take over on downs with less than 2:30 to play.

Then Brett Neilon saved the day.

USC’s sixth-year offensive lineman came charging down the field and hit Williams hard, pushing him forward, past the first-down marker.

First down, USC. Watch the play:

Brett Neilon pushes Caleb Williams forward for game-saving first down (; 0:10)

Five plays later Williams threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Addison to give USC a 17-14 lead with 1:13 to play. The Trojans sealed the 17-14 victory when Max Williams intercepted a Chance Nolan pass with 35 seconds left.

USC (4-0, 2-0) leaves Corvallis in the pole position for the Pac-12 title – largely because of Neilon’s game-saving play. 

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