Lincoln Riley and USC were blown out in disappointing fashion this weekend, losing on the road to Notre Dame by a final score of 48-20. It was also a weird and wild game for star quarterback Caleb Williams.

Williams threw 3 interceptions — a new career-high — and finished with just 199 yards passing against the Irish. That is just the 3rd game of Williams’ USC career being held under 200 yards in a game.

While the loss is brutal, Riley still believes the resolve and confidence of the Trojans is strong. He pointed to those things and Williams’ ability to get to work after a loss while at his weekly press conference.

“He’s always been really productive after the team doesn’t win or he doesn’t play up to his standards and our standards. He’s always been a guy that bounces back strong,” said Riley. “I think his resolve, the team’s resolve is very strong and the confidence of the team is very strong. The belief of the team is very strong.”

There’s no denying the disastrous performance Williams had, but Riley said the QB has answered for any mistake he made. The head coach also spoke to Williams’ energy to start the week and praised the QB’s leadership.

“He’s a competitor. He is and it hurts him, but he comes back hungry and ready to get better and owning any mistakes he has in it. He’s been a good leader, he’s had great energy this week,” Riley explained. “He might have a tough one here and there, but I wouldn’t expect him to have too many and I doubt he has two in a row.”

While the loss tumbled the Trojans all the way to No. 18 in the country, every goal for the team is still in front of them. USC is undefeated in Pac-12 play, and the program must still face 4 teams currently ranked in the top 25.

The task is a tough one, but it’s not quite time to rule USC out of the College Football Playoff picture. The first step forward is a Week 8 game against Utah.