Written by the AP at FoxSports.com
Things are looking a bit grim for USC.
The Trojans are 1-2 and now they face No. 24 Utah on the road Friday. A loss to the Utes would make for the Trojans’ first 1-3 start since 2001. An 0-2 start to Pac-12 play would mean USC would likely need to go undefeated in its remaining conference games just to have a chance at a league title.
And now coach Clay Helton is switching quarterbacks. Redshirt freshman Sam Darnold will make his first start for the Trojans, replacing Max Browne. The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder has played in all three games and thrown for 136 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and completed 63.6 percent of his passes. Darnold also provides a running threat.
”I would not have made the change if I wasn’t confident in the decision,” Helton said. ”What he has done on that stage versus Alabama showing the poise he did, versus Stanford showing the poise he did, the anticipation he has shown in his throws, his knowledge of the offense right now, he is making plays.”
Cornerback Adoree’ Jackson said Helton had one message this week.
”In life there’s only two things, you can be the answer or the one that makes excuses,” Jackson said. ”So, obviously, we got to be the answer.”
On the opposite sideline, there’s a little revenge at stake for the Utes. Utah was ranked No. 3 in the country in 2015 when a loss to USC started a downward spiral that ended with the Utes playing in the Las Vegas Bowl after at one time being in the conversation for the College Football Playoff.
”They’re probably the most talented 1-2 team in the country,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. ”They’re dangerous. We’re fully aware of that. We don’t really pay any attention to record. We know what their capabilities are. We’re not stressing that we owe them or anything like that. … We’d like to create some momentum going into league play.”
To continue reading this article, click here.