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Utahn Jaxson Dart will have the chance to win USC’s starting QB job

Dart, who led USC to a win over Washington State after replacing the injured Kedon Slovis, set a new program record in his college football debut

Southern California quarterback Jaxson Dart throws a pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Washington State, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Pullman, Wash.
Young Kwak, AP

Jaxson Dart took the country by storm over the weekend in his USC debut.

Entering the game in relief of the injured Kedon Slovis, Dart, a native Utahn, led the Trojans to a convincing victory over Washington State, setting a new program record in the process.

Now, he will have the chance to win the starting quarterback job.

Per the Los Angeles Times, USC interim head coach Donte Williams will have the two quarterbacks compete throughout the week to determine who will start against Oregon State on Saturday night.

“Me personally, being the head coach, I approach everything as a battle,” Williams told Ryan Kartje. “I think part of why people don’t succeed and develop is because they get complacent. That’s not just at quarterback, that’s at every position. I want to make sure guys are never complacent.”

Slovis, who suffered a neck injury against the Cougars, isn’t expected to miss any practice time after X-rays and an MRI exam on his injured neck came back negative, but Dart’s performance was too impressive to ignore.

“He definitely made some plays with his legs, just buying time,” Williams said. “And even when he got dinged up for a second, just for him to stay in that game and continue to battle, that shows what kind of warrior he is. He made some throws that in my point of view were great throws down the field.”

Dart, a former Deseret News Mr. Football winner, was expected to play against Washington State before Slovis was hurt, if only in certain situations, Williams told Kartje, and the head coach hasn’t ruled out both quarterbacks playing against the Beavers, either.