Caleb Williams’ Heisman Hopes Face Challenge as Gabriel Shines in Red River Showdown

USC's unbeaten run puts Williams in the Heisman race, but Gabriel's heroics create stiff competition.

In the past tense, it seemed that Caleb Williams was cruising towards another Heisman Trophy with USC’s unbeaten start to the 2023 season after six games. However, his path to the prestigious award took an unexpected twist as another SEC quarterback, Gabriel, stole the spotlight with a dazzling performance in the Red River showdown.

Key Takeaways:

  • Oklahoma’s Gabriel led a stunning comeback against Texas in the Red River showdown, securing a vital win and shaking up the AP Polls.
  • Caleb Williams faces consistent defensive challenges but continues to lead USC to an undefeated season.
  • The Heisman race is heating up as both quarterbacks vie for the coveted award.

In a thrilling showdown, the Oklahoma Sooners, led by quarterback Gabriel, emerged victorious against their arch-rivals, the Texas Longhorns. The game’s turning point came when Oklahoma found themselves trailing after a remarkable 13-point comeback by Texas. In a high-pressure situation, Gabriel executed a flawless 2-minute drill, completing four of five passes to drive his team to the end zone, ultimately securing a three-yard touchdown pass that sealed Oklahoma’s victory. This stunning win propelled the Sooners up seven spots in the AP Polls, surpassing USC and making a significant statement in the national rankings.

Gabriel’s heroics not only shifted the college football landscape but also raised questions about Caleb Williams’ Heisman candidacy. While Williams has been exceptional for USC, he has faced consistent challenges from opposing defenses, including in the game against another Pac-12 opponent. USC’s defense has been the team’s saving grace, as they strive to maintain their position in the AP Top 10 while their offense navigates rough waters.

Dillon Gabriel, QB, Oklahoma: Gabriel put together his signature moment over the weekend. After putting up gaudy numbers on the Sooners’ comfortable path to 5-0, he threw for 285 yards, rushed for a career-high 113 and totaled two scores—including a last-minute winning pass—in the triumph over Texas. OU is idle in Week 7 before hosting UCF.

via David Kenyon, Bleacher Report

Williams remains a top prospect for the upcoming NFL Draft, but his path to a second consecutive Heisman Trophy has grown more uncertain with Gabriel’s standout performances. As the college football season progresses, the race for the Heisman Trophy promises to be one of the most closely watched storylines, with both Caleb Williams and Gabriel battling for the title of the nation’s top college football player.

Gary Lee

Gary Lee, a mainstay at LA Sports Report, is not just a sports writer; he's a veritable institution in the realm of sports journalism. With an extensive and illustrious career that boasts stints with notable platforms like Sports Illustrated, Gary has consistently showcased an uncanny knack for capturing the essence of the game, regardless of the sport. His prowess isn't limited to the written word alone; Gary's vast experience extends to creating and curating sports websites, providing fans with in-depth analysis, up-to-date news, and captivating stories. For readers keen on insights into the Clippers, Dodgers, Galaxy, Kings, LAFC, Lakers, Rams, UCLA, and USC, Gary is your go-to guy.
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