Did Miller Moss change thinking at QB for USC football?

Miler Moss threw six touchdown passes and led USC football to a top-25 victory over Louisville, but is it enough to get him the starting job in 2024?

DIRECTV Holiday Bowl - Louisville v USC
DIRECTV Holiday Bowl - Louisville v USC / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

Going into the Holiday Bowl without former Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams, USC football was nearly a touchdown underdog to Louisville.

The Cardinals are a 10-win team after all, one win away from winning the ACC championship. USC football, on the other hand, struggled to a 7-5 season during a season in which the College Football Playoff was the hope, or even the expectation.

Yet, the defense fell apart. Caleb Williams wasn't quite the Superman that he was in 2022, even though he was still incredible, and USC football fell flat on its face. Williams is leaving for the NFL draft, and the Trojans are pursuing quarterbacks in the transfer portal.

The Holiday Bowl almost seemed like an afterthought. But Miller Moss certainly didn't see it that way. The USC football quarterback took it as an opportunity to lay his claim to the starting job -- which he did with a 23-of-33 effort for 372 yards and six touchdowns which led to a 42-28 win for USC. Five different receivers caught at least one pass of 29 yards or more, and USC football fans had to be thinking that maybe, just maybe, the Trojans have found their next starting quarterback.

Did USC football finds its quarterback?

Of course, a week ago, that seemed like it was going to be Will Howard. The former Kansas State starter has been projected to USC with four crystal balls. Yet, as of this week, Howard hasn't made a decision and you wonder if the performance by Miller Moss changes the thinking for Lincoln Riley.

Moss was ranked No. 112 overall in the 2021 recruiting class. He wasn't recruited by Lincoln Riley to USC, but he certainly looked like a capable starter on Wednesday night against a Louisville team with a good defense. Malachi Nelson is already headed to the transfer portal, costing the Trojans one young quarterback, do they want to give up on Moss after last night? For one year of Will Howard?

Maybe Moss would stick around and compete for the job. But after that game, other teams are going to be in his ear to enter the transfer portal too. And at the very least, Moss has to be in the conversation now for USC football, especially since Moss only has two years of eligibility left. I don't see him sticking around another season to hold Will Howard's clipboard.

Not after a six-touchdown performance in the Holiday Bowl.