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USC vs. Oregon State: QB Jaxson Dart misses Trojans’ practice Wednesday

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Southern California quarterback Jaxson Dart throws a pass during the first half.
USC quarterback Jaxson Dart passes during his dynamic debut against Washington State on Saturday.
(Associated Press)

USC will be looking for the second win of the Donte Williams era when the Trojans (2-1) return to the Coliseum to play Oregon State (2-1) on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. PDT.

USC QB Jaxson Dart misses second day of practice

It was supposed to be a quarterback competition, but so far, the battle between Kedon Slovis and Jaxson Dart for the starting job looks like a one-sided fight.

Dart, the backup who starred in Saturday’s win over Washington State, missed practice for the second consecutive day Wednesday, leaving Slovis, the incumbent starter, to lead the offense along with scout team-turned-backup quarterback Miller Moss. Dart suffered the injury against Washington State. Interim head coach Donte Williams said this week that the freshman is “day to day,” but added Tuesday that if Dart isn’t able to practice, then “the decision is made” when it comes to the starting role for Saturday night’s against Oregon State.

With Dart out, Moss, a freshman from Bishop Alemany High in Mission Hills, moved from the scout team to the second-team offense.

Offensive lineman Jalen McKenzie was also not seen on the practice field Wednesday after he left early Tuesday. The senior lost his starting right tackle job to redshirt freshman Jonah Monheim this year, but McKenzie has played off the bench in all three games.

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USC quarterback Jaxson Dart is ‘day to day’ because of knee injury

USC quarterback Jaxson Dart throws a pass during a game against Washington State on Sept. 18 in Pullman, Wash.
USC quarterback Jaxson Dart throws a pass during a game against Washington State on Sept. 18 in Pullman, Wash.
(Young Kwak / Associated Press)

USC’s unexpected quarterback competition might have to wait.

After hobbling through his dynamic debut Saturday following a shot to the knee, freshman quarterback Jaxson Dart is still dealing with soreness and will be “day to day” this week, USC interim coach Donte Williams revealed Monday night on USC’s Trojans Live radio show.

Williams said Sunday there would be a competition this week between Dart and junior Kedon Slovis to see who would lead the offense on Saturday against Oregon State. But on Monday night, he explained USC plans to “hold [Dart] out a little bit for precautionary reasons.”

“We’re going to save Jaxson from himself a little bit,” Williams said, adding the quarterback competition would still continue this week.

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USC quarterback duels: Jaxson Dart-Kedon Slovis isn’t the first; here are five others

USC quarterbacks Jaxson Dart, left, and Kedon Slovis are battling for the opportunity to start for the Trojans
USC quarterbacks Jaxson Dart, left, and Kedon Slovis are battling for the opportunity to start for the Trojans on Saturday against Oregon State.
(Young Kwak; Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)

Jaxson Dart has played in one college football game, and the freshman emerged from it as the Pac-12’s offensive player of the week.

Kedon Slovis has played in 21 games, passing for nearly 6,000 yards and 50 touchdowns, and the junior is widely considered a future first-round NFL draft pick.

USC interim head coach Donte Williams has billed what’s to come as a “quarterback battle,” but, because of injuries for each player, it’s unclear how much of it will be staged at this week’s practices leading into Saturday night’s game against Oregon State at the Coliseum.

Even at USC, where heated quarterback competitions have become the expectation the last two decades, this one feels like it could be quite spicy.

As a prelude to Slovis versus Dart, here’s a look at five quarterback decisions that shaped the modern era of USC football:

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