Entering Tuesday’s football practice, USC’s quarterback situation was unclear. After practice, the situation was not any more solidified.
Junior Kedon Slovis and freshman Miller Moss split reps at the quarterback position and both players had encouraging showings. Freshman Jaxson Dart was not present at practice due to a knee injury sustained in Saturday’s game.
Slovis, who suffered a neck injury early in the Washington State game, did not have any visible discomfort while throwing the football. He made some deep throws down the field with ease and looked like his former self before the injury. Slovis was not at all limited during the practice.
Moss was equally as sharp as Slovis, making the decision on who to start even more difficult for the coaching staff — as head coach Donte Williams said in Week 3′s postgame press conference that even Moss could start if he performs best in practice. Both players had a good grasp on the offense and neither quarterback made any significant errors.
“What I saw today was no different between Kedon and Miller,” Williams said.
The competition is wide open between all three quarterbacks but could become a bit clearer if Dart is unable to practice all week. Though Dart’s absence would make Slovis the presumed starter, Williams said it’s a battle between all three quarterbacks. When asked if Dart could still start for the Trojans even after missing an entire week of practice, Williams made it clear that the starting job would go to Slovis or Moss.
“If he’s not able to practice the whole week, that decision is made,” Williams said.
The team was sure to keep information about Dart’s injury quiet. Williams would not relay any information about testing done on Dart’s injury or a timetable for his return.
“Shoot, I hope he’s here tomorrow, so we’ll see,” Williams said. “I know he just wasn’t here today.”
The fan-favorite and electric dual-threat quarterback put the college football world on notice with his 391 yards and four touchdowns against Washington State, and members of the team had many positive things to say about Dart. Offensive coordinator Graham Harrell noted how impressed he was with Dart’s ability to bounce back from a shaky start against the Cougars, and even Dart’s main competition for the starting job had kind things to say about the freshman.
“I’m excited for him, he had a great game and honestly it’s what we expect,” Slovis said. “He’s a great player.”
The team still has plenty of decisions to make regarding the quarterback position for Saturday’s game, and Tuesday’s practice did not make that decision any easier. All three quarterbacks are in the mix, and Oregon State will have to prepare for all three styles of play if the Beavers are to have any chance against the Trojans.
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