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Jaxson Dart to remain USC’s starting quarterback against BYU

USC quarterback Jaxson Dart passes during the first half against UCLA.
USC quarterback Jaxson Dart passes during the first half against UCLA on Saturday at the Coliseum.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

With just two games left in its disappointing season, USC will stick with freshman Jaxson Dart at quarterback against BYU.

Dart started for the first time last Saturday in the Trojans’ blowout loss to rival UCLA, and all signs are pointing to the freshman finishing out the season as the starter.

Kedon Slovis, who was twice named an All-Pac-12 passer, remains sidelined with what coaches have deemed “a lower leg injury.” But interim coach Donte Williams said he didn’t expect that the injury would require the junior to be officially shut down for the season’s final two weeks.

“It’s a muscle injury, so everybody heals a little differently,” Williams said. “So I wish I could give you something better than that and say, ‘Yeah, he’ll back tomorrow.’ But I don’t know that.”

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The more pertinent question now is whether Slovis will be back at all. The junior could still opt to enter the NFL draft this spring as many initially expected he would. But while he’s likely to be drafted, his stock is sure to be lower than it was at the start of this season.

Slovis could also decide to transfer and take another season to boost his stock back up again. But he’s never suggested at any point through his frustrating third season that he’d consider leaving USC.

Iowa State’s Matt Campbell and Utah’s Kyle Whittingham are gaining more traction in the USC football coaching search, but have they passed Dave Aranda?

He’s been sidelined since USC’s loss to Arizona State, missing two weeks of practice. With Williams saying Dart will start Saturday against BYU, it seems unlikely that Slovis will return to practice this week, either.

Until he hears otherwise, Dart said he’ll move forward as if he’s the starter.

“I think that’s kind of how it has to be for me,” Dart said. “I got to take each week the same, prepare like I’m gonna be the guy and be able to carry my load and hold myself accountable so I can produce and help my team win.”


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