USC did not come out of Saturday’s road contest – a 45-14 comeback win over Washington State – unscathed with injuries to star junior QB Kedon Slovis and star junior wide receiver Drake London. It also came out of Saturday with a potential QB controversy.
Interim head coach Donte Williams was asked about the status Slovis, London and the situation under center during his first Sunday evening press conference.
Slovis was obviously lost on the sixth play of the game to an apparent neck injury, opening the door for freshman QB Jaxson Dart to throw for 391 yards and four TD passes. Williams expects the three-year starter in Slovis to practice this week.
“Yes, I expect him to practice [Monday] and continue to get better,” he said. “He got some X-rays and an MRI and it came back negative, so I expect him to be out there as soon possible and you know, join the quarterback battle.”
Williams expanded more on Slovis being in a “quarterback battle” this week.
“I mean me personally being the head coach, I approach everything as a battle,” said Williams. “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. You get too comfortable you start to realize practice maybe isn’t that important to you, and you start looking forward to Saturday and the game. I want to make sure these guys look forward to practice and continue to get better and develop every day.”
When it comes to making a decision at the QB spot this week, Williams said he and offensive coordinator Graham Harrell will make the decision together.
“It’s not about last week, it’s about what we’ve got to do moving forward,” he said.
London put on a monster performance with a career-high 13 receptions for 170 yards and two scores. That was without the fourth quarter as he left the game following his 31-yard TD to end the third quarter. London was swung down into to the ground and appeared to hit his helmet hard off the turf. Based on Williams’ comments on Sunday, London is in a concussion protocol.
But like Slovis, Williams expects London to practice this week.
“I do. All the symptoms came back really, really good. I expect him the moment he gets full clearance to be out there ready to go,” said Williams. “But at the same time he needed a little bit of rest. His numbers are high. We’ve been running him in practice and different things like that, so a day or two off won’t hurt him. The biggest thing is making sure that he continues getting better for this game mentally and he’ll be right back out there the moment he gets clearance.”
The Trojans (2-1, 1-1) will host Oregon State on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. PT.