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USC's Riley labels Moss as front-runner for starting QB job

Brandon Sloter / Getty Images Sport / Getty

USC head coach Lincoln Riley named quarterback Miller Moss the front-runner to replace Caleb Williams as the team's next starting quarterback.

"He's certainly ahead right now, there's no question about that," Riley said following the Trojans' spring game Saturday, according to Paolo Uggetti of ESPN. "We're in a position right now where we don't have to name a starter. ... If we played today, it would certainly be Miller."

Moss, a former four-star prospect, was part of USC's 2021 recruiting class. He was the 39th-ranked overall prospect and the seventh-ranked quarterback, according to ESPN 300.

The California native shined as the team's starter in the Holiday Bowl last season, totaling 372 yards and six touchdowns. Riley said Moss got off to a slow start in spring camp but has since been "lights out," per Uggetti.

"He's been awesome. He's played at a really high level," Riley said.

Moss is battling UNLV transfer Jayden Maiava for the starting job. He redshirted as a freshman but took over as the Rebels' starter in 2023, racking up 3,085 passing yards with 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Whoever lands the starting job at USC will have big shoes to fill. With Williams as the starter, the Trojans' offense ranked in the top five in the FBS in points per game.

Williams is projected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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