USC scores 45 unanswered points in dominant win over Washington State
Day of debuts: QB Jaxson Dart shines in interim coach Donte Williams first game
Steve Henson (LA Times) — The debut of the day was that of USC interim coach Donte Williams, who replaced the fired Clay Helton after last week’s debacle against Stanford.
Another debut eclipsed even Williams leading the Trojans to a 45-14 victory at Washington State on Saturday.
Quarterback Jaxson Dart, a freshman who was the national high school player of the year in 2020, was thrust into the game after Kedon Slovis was injured on the first series.
And Dart delivered, overcoming early jitters to complete 30 of 46 passes for 391 yards and four touchdowns. He connected with Drake London 13 times for 170 yards and two touchdowns. Gary Bryant Jr. and Kyle Ford also caught touchdown passes.
The USC defense, porous throughout the first half, stiffened in the second half and contributed a touchdown when Drake Jackson forced a fumble on a sack in the end zone and the ball was recovered by Tuli Tuipulotu.
The victory improved USC to 2-1 and 1-0 under Williams, who was demonstrative and celebratory on the sideline as his team pulled away in the second half.
Dart’s 391 yards passing were the most by a Trojan in his debut and his performance likely will create a quarterback controversy when Slovis — the starter since 2019 — returns.
Last season at Corner Canyon High in Draper, Utah, Dart threw 67 touchdown passes and for 4,691 yards to go along with 1,195 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns.
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