Both Slovis & Dart Could Play In South Bend

USC QB Jaxson Dart’s status for Notre Dame still up in air

Adam Grosbard (OC Register)  —  LOS ANGELES — USC quarterback Jaxson Dart showed signs of progress at Tuesday’s practice as he works to return from meniscus surgery, but his status for Saturday’s rivalry game against Notre Dame still remains undetermined.

Dart is still day-to-day with his knee injury, interim head coach Donte Williams said after practice, putting the chances of the backup quarterback’s return after the bye week in doubt.  But Dart did show signs of improvement in Tuesday’s practice. It was the first time he participated in 11-on-11 drills, handling all the second-team duties against the scout team rather than third-string QB Miller Moss.

Dart was able to move around more, making throws on the move and navigating cone drills with the rest of the position group. While he’s still not fully planting his leg during his throws, nor playing at full speed, he was making strong, tight passes that led his receivers.

“I feel a lot better moving around this week than I did last week,” Dart said. “Today was probably one of the first days I really felt comfortable with mostly all the throws I had to make.”

Every day, the team doctors tell Dart what he can and cannot do at the coming practice. He says that as much as he wanted to rush back to playing, he understands that a little patience will go a long way toward his long-term health.

If he is ready to play Notre Dame, it will remain to be seen whether Dart is used or how he’s used. His breakout performance against Washington State raised the question of whether he should start over junior Kedon Slovis, but Dart had surgery the following week.

Offensive coordinator Graham Harrell didn’t rule out the possibility of using both quarterbacks, an idea USC intended to deploy against Washington State before Slovis’ neck injury knocked him from the game.

“Kedon has been really sharp. The ball is jumping out of his hand. He’s doing a lot of good things,” Harrell said. “It’ll be nice when we have them both back and figure out how to use them both. … We’ll put whoever out there that gives us the best chance to move the ball at that point and use our guys as best we can.”

For now, Dart is just waiting on that full clearance from the doctors. Playing 11-on-11 on Tuesday was a good first step. Dart admitted to feeling a need to catch up, but was also confident that the mental reps he took while recovering from the surgery have helped him avoid any serious regressions.

And when he does return to the field, whether it’s later this year or next, Dart learned a valuable lesson about protecting his body and the differences between the college and high school games.

“Probably should slide a little more next time,” he said dryly. “It’s not like high school anymore, I can’t just run through a lot of people. Everybody’s big and a lot of them are bigger than me now. So I gotta be a little bit smarter when I’m running.”

INJURY REPORT

TE Michael Trigg was not at practice on Tuesday as he continues to recover from a lower leg injury suffered prior to the bye week. Williams said he doesn’t expect Trigg to play against the Irish on Saturday.

ocregister.com

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LawyerJohn
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LawyerJohn(@lawyerjohn)
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October 20, 2021 8:42 pm

Playing Dart with a gimpy knee would be medical malpractice by the SC “Patch ’em up and play-em” medical staff. Besides, by telling Slovis this is his game, SC keeps Slovis’ head in the game leading up to the game. This kid is SC’s only chance, and unless Troy puts up 30-points the Trojans will go down to their 4th straight loss to this rival… Loved all the unsupported optimism that the Bellinger-miracle-game was the start of the Dodgers starting to win, again. The Dodgers won a lot of games during the season, but even its lofty win-loss record calculates… Read more »

Steveg
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Steveg(@steveg)
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October 20, 2021 4:32 pm

Dart has played in one game so far. If this staff handles it right he could use his redshirt this season. I can’t see the emergency to get him into the ND game unless Slovis gets his bell rung again, but then it would be good to see what Moss is made of also. Slovis’ biggest problem is getting the ball into the end zone, his short game is darn good, and his long ball when he throws it is usually catchable. We have had so many drops this season I can’t blame him for looking for London every play.… Read more »

Steveg
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October 20, 2021 5:11 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

That would probably be a decision Dart and the staff makes. I agree, if he is that good he will be gone, but I am not sitting in the coaches office so I have no idea what they will decide. There again even Dart would have to deal with the same offensive line Slovis deals with. I would like to see Moss and what he brings to USC football. I hope they get him some PT.

Trojan5
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October 20, 2021 6:47 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

THE BEST PLAYER PLAYS. It is as simple as that.

Jamaica
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Jamaica(@jamaica)
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October 20, 2021 4:10 pm

I could see Donte Williams’ gameplan being Jaxon Dart will come into the game if USC is so far behind Dart would be doing cleanup work and ND starters were out of the game or, USC is so far out in front that the game is over and the ND headhunters are out of the game. The 3rd option is WSU happening again with Slovis knocked out. And then we all are holding our breath the game ends without a 2nd USC QB out of the game. It pretty much depends on the USC OL playing the game of their… Read more »

RialtoTrojan
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October 20, 2021 10:04 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

So is this a crick in Donte’s armor? I doubt we lost him due to a coaching change because my 6th grade band members knew The Cat wasn’t a real coach.

Trojan5
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October 20, 2021 10:30 am
Reply to  RialtoTrojan

Not so sure this is a reflection on Dontae . Last week I saw an article (On3.com ,I think) that quoted Williams as saying Coach So,Oto was his connection to USC. As the tenure of the assistant coaches comes through a close I think we will see more decommittments and other prospects committ elsewhere. The new guy will have a hell of a tough task ahead of him. I hope he can work the portal. Sunny Dykes at SMU & Tucker at MI State built their current teams with transfers.

Trojan5
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October 20, 2021 10:39 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Has SEC & Saban pedigree. Always helps

TrojanRJJ
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October 20, 2021 10:08 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Allen, To be expected. I doubt any of this present staff (including Donte) survives. We should count on losing all the quality recruits in this class. The new coach (particularly if he is from the pro ranks) will have to substitute the transfer portal for recruiting.

Trojan5
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October 20, 2021 10:25 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Surprised that any current players haven’t jumped in the portal yet. Not saying it won’t happen, but I was expecting that at 2 to 3 would have jumped already.

Trojan5
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October 20, 2021 10:44 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Curious as to who the team leaders are. If any? They and new recruits will determine how successful the rebuild will be. If there aren’t any leaders the whole roster will need to be cycled through. I hope leaders emerge because I don’t want a 3-4 year project. With the right coach and player leaders the job could be done in 2-3 years.

San Diego Trojan
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October 20, 2021 10:46 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I’m really hoping that current players and recruits are patient enough to see what the new coach and staff looks like before deciding to bail. There must have been other factors besides football as to why they came to USC to begin with. There will be plenty of time to de commit or transfer later. I could definitely see Slovis transferring to one of the Arizona schools, where he is from, if it looks like he will lose his job to Dart next year. I don’t think he will enter the draft off of this year’s performance unless things change… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by San Diego Trojan
danielmcd1
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October 20, 2021 9:34 am

Unless Dart is 100%, which he won’t be on Saturday, they should let him totally recover. Every game the remainder of this year is a throw away game in reality. The purpose for Dart to play is get reps in game time speed and prepare for next year. Anything other than that is total BS, He must be healthy to play period!

TrojanRJJ
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October 20, 2021 7:59 am

I just listened to Keely E and Shotgun S on Ryan’s Board giving an update on Tuesday’s practice. Well, they reported that the staff had finally figured out that they were making mistakes in practice structure. They were not practicing full out during the practice squad segment! It took these geniuses 4 weeks post-The Cat to figure that out! Maybe there is a chance of some improvement by UCLA as Dart will probably be ready by then (I doubt he is ready for ND) and maybe some improvements in practice effort will have taken hold by then. There is a… Read more »

Chris
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October 20, 2021 8:38 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I think that swing turned the entire series around.

Chris
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October 20, 2021 8:56 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Playoff baseball has drama that is just different. Late in games every pitch and swing matters and can make or break a team. It’s fun stuff!

San Diego Trojan
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October 20, 2021 10:33 am
Reply to  Chris

They were dead in the water. Lifeless. The stadium was like a morgue.Ready to be down 3-0, and done. That’s the beauty about baseball. Bellinger has come back from the dead, and so have the Dodgers.